Last updated: 04.02.15

Poor careers advice leading to college dropouts

Teenagers aged between 16 and 18 in the UK are choosing to drop out of school or college, or failing to pass their exams because they've been provided with poor careers advice, according to councillors.

In a report produced for the Local Government Association (LGA), teenage dropout rates cost the country £814 million each year, accounting for 12 per cent of total government spending on post-16 education and skills.

The LGA warns that funding provided to schools and colleges should be invested into providing the right courses to help students, rather than boosting student numbers.

According to the latest figures, 178,100 16 to 18-year-olds did not complete post-16 qualifications they began in 2012/13, subsequently increasing their risk of becoming unemployed.

David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People Board, said: "Councils are having success in helping young people that do drop out back into learning, but fear a failure to reform the centralised ‘bums on seats' approach to funding further education could leave too many teenagers at risk of dropping out or without the skills needed to get a job.

"Local councils, colleges, schools and employers know how to best help their young people and should have devolved funding and powers to work together to give young people the best chance of building careers and taking jobs that exist locally."

In a bid to tackle the challenges that face Britain today, the LGA urges councils, schools and colleges to work closely with local employers to help young people receive the necessary advice and training that will shape their future careers.

Virtual College is producing a range of Vocational Open Online Courses (VOOCs) designed to allow career seekers to explore options in an interactive and engaging manner.