Young people are ‘falling off the radar’ after leaving school

According to a new report from the Public Accounts Committee, too many young people fall “off the radar” when they finish school.

The committee says that local authorities are responsible for keeping a record of 16- to 18-year-olds in their area, but some do not know whether young people are participating in education or training or not. In the UK, 7% of young people’s activity is unknown. In some local authorities the proportion is as high as 20%.

The report also criticises careers advice, saying it is patchy across the country and most young people don’t get enough support.

Margaret Hodge, who chairs the PAC, said: “Too many young people simply disappear from all the relevant public systems. One hundred thousand plus young people are off the radar in that some local authorities do not know whether they are participating in education or training or not. If the activity of young people is unknown to the local authorities where they live, they are unlikely to receive targeted help.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “Ensuring young people leave school or college prepared for life in modern Britain is a key part of our plan for education. That is why we are doing more to enable young people to access high quality advice and opportunities that will enable them to make informed decisions, in particular through the creation of the new careers and enterprise company. The new company will encourage greater collaboration between employers and schools, helping them access a wealth of experience to inspire young people across the country about the possibilities of the world of work.”