Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond took a bit of a barrage in the recent budget. However, within the budget, the introduction of T levels, announced by Hammond, is the latest government initiative to solve the problem of youth unemployment.
While employment records are at an all-time high, at the end of last year there were 554,000 people aged 16-24 who were unemployed. So, with all the talk of immigration controls leading to skill shortages post Brexit and how are we going to support an ageing population, will T levels be the panacea some are hoping?
Within the qualification students will be taught core subjects such as maths, English and digital skills as well as the specialised skills necessary to embark in a career in their chosen field. The technical route will consist of both college-based and employer-based training, which is closer to the more successful technical education systems in Europe.
But the biggest issue my clients tell me when employing young people is often not the lack of technical skills but the paucity of “soft skills” such as effective communication and team working, problem solving and personal organisation. Sadly, they say that one bad experience can put them off recruiting young people again.
As we get more details coming out I really hope that sufficient attention is paid to developing all round skills to avoid this initiative being in the long line of failed attempts to get to the nub of the problem.
David Cawthorne, Cedar Human Resources