The educational and employment prospects of young people

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the education and employment prospects of young people with those with lower academic achievement and those from less well-off backgrounds likely to fare worst. Every year 30% of young people do not achieve grades 4 or above in their GCSE English and maths and they must continue to resit these subjects until they pass or until they reach the age of 19. In 2019, just 31.9% of students resitting GCSE English achieved a grade 4 while just 22.3% achieved a grade 4 in maths. According to research conducted by Impetus students eligible for free school meals are much less likely to achieve these grades by the age of 19. As a result of the pandemic, 16 year olds are now entering further education with gaps in their education, their confidence reduced, and their study skills dented by extended breaks in learning. This is all occurring at a time when securing grades 4 in maths and English are more crucial than ever given the competitiveness of the jobs market for young people. The government‚’s catch-up funding has enabled individual education providers to provide additional support for these students, but there is room for a more coordinated, broadly collaborative, and national approach, involving policy makers, education providers and employers, that would ensure all young people, regardless of their background, achieve the results they need to enter into meaningful employment, and by extension contribute to the recovery of the economy more broadly.




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