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Action needed now on skills and training revolution

Action is needed now to ensure teenagers are guaranteed a path into skills or training if they choose to leave school, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Ruth Davidson used her return to First Minister’s Questions today to urge the SNP government to introduce a Skills Participation Age of 18.

She set out the policy at the Scottish Conservative conference, after it emerged 20 per cent of 16-19-year-olds are without any form of education or formal training.

It’s a move backed by respected thinktank the IPPR, and similar schemes are already underway in countries like Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands.

But Nicola Sturgeon dismissed the idea, instead saying she’d press ahead with her current approach to skills and training, and that her SNP government would “continue to act as we are doing”.

Under her government, the proportion of pupils leaving school with no qualifications is at its highest since 2011.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

“Under the SNP government, too many young people have no qualifications whatsoever, and many others are leaving school without the skills they need to thrive in the modern world.

“This is supposed to be Nicola Sturgeon’s stated priority – yet in reality she is letting down young people right across Scotland.

“More than 20 per cent of 16-to-19-year-olds are without any form of education or training, a figure which has been flatlining for years.

“I say that is simply wrong.

“We have put forward serious proposals that could secure cross-party support.

“We can all agree that politicians of all stripes need to up our gamer to deliver for our young people.

“We need the Skills Participation Age of 18, and we need to act now to deliver it.”

Ends

 

Notes to editors:

 

One in five youngsters have no formal education or training:

 

Participation Rate (excl employment) for 16-19 yo

 

2018

2017

2016

Education

71.26%

71.13%

71.31%

Apprenticeship

6.51%

6.39%

6.36%

Training

1.92%

1.84%

2.14%

Total

79.69%

79.37%

79.81%

Source: https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/publications-statistics/statistics/participation-measure/?page=1&statisticCategoryId=7&order=date-desc

 

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