Improving the transition from school to work Contents

Chapter 3: The transition from school to work

“I went straight from school into 6th form as this was seen what you needed to do, the school aim was to get people into further education. I left three months before the end of my A-Levels due to stress, pressure and anxiety of me wrongly choosing the career stream … I was not prepared for any other options, I did not know about apprenticeships or prepared properly for the jobs market.”94

A female respondent to our survey, aged between 19–24, who attended a sixth form

59.The transition from school to work is a significant life event. It can have a long-lasting effect on where a person ends up in life. As we have noted, the majority of young people do not follow an academic route into work. For them, knowing what to do and finding a worthwhile route into work is not straightforward.

Routes into work

“If I am 16, I can choose a number of routes. I can go into an apprenticeship or, if I am not quite ready for that, a traineeship or I can stay on in college or school. If I am staying on in college or school, I will move on to a study programme and that programme will be either the A-Level route, as you describe, or else it will be a vocational route.”95

Juliet Chua, Director of Post-16 and Disadvantaged Groups, Department for Education

60.Juliet Chua stressed the choices available to young people when they leave school.96 The concept of “choice”, however, is alien to many young people who do not get the grades at GCSE to take ALevels.97 The young people we heard from told us:

“I left school without the academic level needed to be offered the full range of choices. My only option was to stay at school or go to college to study at Level 1.”98

“ … with the grades I received at GCSE the only thing it seemed I could do was go to college (only one accepted my application) and do an entry level and resit my GCSE’s.”99

“People I was at school with had completely different options than the ones I could do, and their choices and what they could do was so different.”100

61.Other young people felt pushed down an academic route, did not know what else to do, or dropped out of education altogether:

“I dropped out of school halfway through the first year of A-Levels. I had always been told that I had to do A-Levels and then go to university. I decided that that wasn’t what I wanted to do, but had no idea what to do when I left school. I fulfilled the big cliché and got a part time job at McDonald’s. I had no information of other routes so I fell straight into employment. I now work full time in a supermarket and am planning to climb the ladder into management within the company.”101

62.A small proportion of young people who get good enough grades to take A-levels choose to take a vocational route instead.102 We saw evidence of this when we visited the Rolls Royce apprenticeship scheme in Derby (see Appendix 6).

Young people in the middle

63.We know that more than half of young people do not follow a GCSE/A-Level/University academic route, whether by choice or otherwise. The majority of them will be middle-attainers, meaning they will not get a Level 3 qualification by the age of 18 (see paragraphs 4–5).103 Professors Hodgson and Spours told us that: “This group of ‘middle attainers’ constituted more than 50 per cent of the 16+ cohort in 2014. Initially identified at age 11 through Key Stage 2 SATs scores (about 40 per cent of the 11-year-old cohort), they are a diverse group comprising those currently in full-time education at 16+ and who [do not follow or get ‘good’ A-Levels]104.”105

64.Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are over-represented in this middle group.

65.Some of the young people we heard from told us how their backgrounds had affected them:

“When I left School I wasn’t able to complete college courses as there was no fixed home address.”106

“Due to staying at home to help my mum on occasion, I was stripped of my bursary and so unable to travel to college. It was the only college to offer the course I was on. I wasn’t allowed to sit the end of unit assessments and as such, unable to progress to the next level course. I am now in the situation where I cannot get … funding due to studying a different course. As my options of education have now run out I have been forced to apply for universal credit. I have been doing unpaid work experience for the past 3 and a half weeks while waiting the 35 days before I receive any payment. Growing up in a poor family anyway, it has been very difficult to find the means to travel to and from the job centre, so I already owe a lot of money to family members.”107

Recent policy focus and the effects on the labour market

66.Government efforts to increase social mobility have tended to focus on higher-level routes—especially ones that lead to university—or apprenticeships.108 Across the UK, successive governments have tried to make sure a university education is open to people from all backgrounds.

67.For example, at the end of 2015 the Government consulted on plans to widen participation in higher education.109 The 2010 Coalition Government wanted more university places for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.110 In 2007 the then Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, stressed the Government’s policy to widen access to higher education. 111 In 1999, the then Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, set the target that 50 per cent of all young people under 30 should have taken part in higher education.112

68.Since 2000 Scotland has offered free university tuition for students from Scotland.113 The Welsh Government will pay fee costs above £3,465 a year for Welsh students studying at any UK university.114 The higher education widening participation strategy in Northern Ireland includes an increase in local FE and HE provision and a premium for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.115 Within the European Union, 47 countries make up the European Higher Education Area. These “countries have committed to the goal the student body should reflect the diversity of the populations and that the background of students should not have an impact on their participation in and attainment of higher education.”116 The implementation report notes some progress, but says: “ … the goal of providing equal opportunities to quality higher education is far from being reached.”117

69.In spite of the substantial increase in tuition fees in 2012 in England, there are more graduates than ever before. In 2014/15 there were 1,727,895 undergraduate students118 in the United Kingdom, approximately 500,000 more than the equivalent number in 1994/5 (1,231,988).119  A total of 532,300 people entered higher education in the United Kingdom in 2015, the highest number ever recorded, meaning more graduates in the future.120

70.Some of our witnesses told us that the increase in the number of graduates had changed the jobs available to non-graduates. For instance, Professor Roberts said since the A-Level and university route had grown, most management and professional employment jobs had been taken by university graduates. He warned that this was also happening to intermediate office, technical and sales jobs. The number of jobs available to non-graduates in manufacturing and the associated craft apprenticeships has also shrunk.121 CASCAiD Ltd told us that employers are missing potentially valuable recruits by having A-Levels or a degree as minimum requirements for jobs, when the roles do not require it.122 The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, told us that the general requirement to have a degree had limited the number of intermediate roles available in the public sector.123

71.Traditionally, work-based learning and apprenticeships were one of the main routes to work for young people not going to university. This has changed too. Professor Keep told us: “… both employers and Government over the last 20 to 25 years have looked to fill quite a lot of intermediate skill demand not through the traditional apprenticeship route but through expanding higher education.” This means that these jobs are now largely inaccessible without a degree.124

72.All of this means it is more difficult for those without degrees to get mid-level jobs. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) told us that the United Kingdom’s “poor record in apprenticeships and the disappearance of work-based pathways from the 1980s” had “most likely contributed to low levels of upwards social mobility.”125 There are therefore fewer ways for non-graduates to move into work.

73.The most recent UK labour market survey found that “Jobs with intermediate skills demands tend to have high shares of skills shortages. These include skilled trades’ roles in manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail, and hotels and restaurants. This partly reflects longstanding shortages of skilled construction trades workers such as plumbers, electricians and carpenters, and skilled chefs within the hotel and catering industries.”126

74.The Government aims to improve routes to work for all young people. Juliet Chua, Director, Post-16 and Disadvantage Group, at the Department for Education, told us “ … the Government are clear that what we want to see is young people being able to progress up to higher skill levels and that the qualifications and the skills and experience they receive set them up well for future employability”. She added that “we know that it is critical to have clear routes through [to work] for all young people.”127

75.Despite the Government’s laudable aims, the evidence from many of our witnesses showed that transitions from school to work remain complex, confusing and incoherent for people who do not go on to higher education.128 We say more about this in paragraphs 81–85.

What do young people in the middle study?

76.If young people do not follow an academic route to work, it is impossible to tell from publicly available central Government data how many of them take what qualification, whether they take a vocational or other qualification, and, if they do take a vocational qualification, which one they take. We say more about this in Chapter 7. We have nevertheless been able to identify some general trends which arose from our evidence.

77.The Welsh Government, for example, told that for “16–24 year olds in FE [further education]; only 10 per cent of activities were ‘academic’ (A/AS Levels, GCSEs and Access to FE/HE), whilst over a quarter were vocational qualifications including QCF awards, certificates and diplomas, and NVQs. The vast majority of full-time learners are studying essential skills including literacy, numeracy and digital literacy as part of their programme.”129

78.We heard that in Hertfordshire “the majority of young people in employment, education or training (excluding A-Levels) follow vocational programmes post-16.”130

79.Ofsted said:

“Those who do not progress to A-Levels or vocational courses at Level 3 are generally those who complete Key Stage 4 without achieving five GCSEs, including English and mathematics at grade C or above. In 2013/14, this cohort accounted for approximately 242,300 young people. The most common destination for these learners was to progress to 16 to 19 study programmes at Level 2 or below at further education colleges, independent learning providers or charitable organisations.”131

80.In 2011 Professor Baroness Wolf of Dulwich found that “post-16 the majority follow courses which are largely or entirely vocational.”132

Non-academic routes to work

“… a youngster who is leaving school and thinking of pursuing a non-university route is confronted by a spaghetti junction of acronyms, schemes, qualifications and institutions.”133

The Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP

81.Those who do not follow an academic route to work must select from a vast number of courses. Table 1 illustrates the types of qualifications at Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Table 1: Different qualification levels

Level 1 (GCSE grades D-G)

Level 2 (GCSE grades A*-C)

Level 3 (AS and A-Level)

Key Skills Level 1
NVQ Level 1
Skills for Life level 1
Foundation diploma
BTEC award, certificate and diploma Level 1
Foundation Learning Level 1
Functional Skills Level 1
Cambridge National Level 1

Key Skills Level 2
NVQ Level 2
Skills for Life Level 2
Higher diploma
BTEC award, certificate and diploma Level 2
Functional Skills Level 2
Cambridge National Level 2
Cambridge Technical Level 2

Advanced Extension Award
Cambridge International award
International Baccalaureate
Key Skills Level 3
NVQ Level 3
Advanced diploma
Progression diploma
BTEC award, certificate and diploma Level 3
BTEC National
Cambridge Technical Level 3

Source: HM Government, Compare different qualifications:

82.The Word Cloud below shows the description of choices at age 16 according to respondents to our survey.134

83.It is important that young people take qualifications that lead to good quality jobs. But our evidence showed vocational routes to work are especially confusing. They lack consistency and inhibit social mobility.135 For example, there are 19,000 regulated adult vocational qualifications in England.136 Government reforms following the Wolf Review of vocational education reduced the number of vocational qualifications and focussed specifically on reducing the number of low quality courses.137 However, our witnesses told us the range of qualifications is unclear, making it difficult to pick between them.138

84.The Rt Hon Alan Milburn spoke about the complexity of the non-university route:

“This is not system; it is a jungle. Interestingly, it is not a jungle if you are in higher education. If you are on the higher education track, you have total clarity and a portal of entry, but you do not have that on the vocational education track.”139

85.Many of our witnesses shared similar views.140 Dr Crawford told us that “a whole host of vocational qualifications” offered “very different returns.”141 Professor Roberts told us it was “no longer possible to say, ‘If you get this qualification, that will qualify you to do that job’. Whether it does or not you just do not know.”142 Many of our witnesses agreed.143

What do employers make of qualifications?

86.Part of the problem is that employers do not understand the link between qualifications and skills. A qualification has no value if an employers does not understand it. Recent and repeated change is one reason for this.144 Box 7 shows the number of reviews and changes which have taken place in the last five years (since 2011) alone. Future planned changes and reviews may cause further confusion.145

Box 7: Changes to upper secondary and adult qualifications

Previous reports and reviews

The Wolf Review of vocational education (2011)146 suggested a major shakeup of qualifications taken by young people on the vocational route in schools, FE and apprenticeships.

The Richard Review of Apprenticeships (2013) made a number of detailed recommendations about the need for change in the way learning within apprenticeships was assessed and certified.

The Whitehead Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications in England (November 2013)147 suggested further reforms. There are now several parts to this area of work.

Current or future programmes

Technical level qualifications (tech levels) are new qualifications for 16-year-olds. They are vocational and aim to equip students with the specialist knowledge they need to for a specific recognised occupation, such as engineering, computing, accounting or hospitality. To be recognised as a tech level a qualification must be a Level 3 qualification, lead to a recognised occupation, have public support from professional bodies or from 5 employers registered with Companies House.148

National Occupational Standards (NOS) are statements of the standards of performance individuals must achieve when carrying out functions in the workplace, together with specifications of the underpinning knowledge and understanding. The Government is undertaking reform of the National Occupational Standards (NOS) via the UKCES’s Standards and Frameworks programme.149

The Government’s Apprenticeship reform programme takes forward the work of the Richard Review. It aims to make sure apprenticeships in England become more rigorous.150 (The Government says this is currently being piloted by the Apprenticeship Trailblazer sectors and sub-sectors).

What does this mean for young people?

87.Young people sometimes end up taking qualifications or find themselves in jobs which do not match their aspirations,151 or have little value in the labour market.152 A qualification has no economic value if an employer does not understand it. For example, a young person who completed our survey said:

“When I was 16 and completed my GCSEs, I found myself in a position where no A-Level courses felt suited to me and I was very unaware of how many options there were to do in college at the time. School was too busy pressuring me into staying on to do A-Levels when I did not want to, rather than helping me explore other options. The only thing I knew I wanted when I was 16 was that I wanted to leave school. Nobody had fully explained apprenticeships to me and this made them seem unappealing. I ended up securing a part time job in retail.”153

Review of technical and professional education

88.In its evidence to us, the Government outlined plans to simplify the number of qualifications and routes available to young people in order to help them to gain high level skills. The submission did not explain how the Government intended to achieve this154 but, in December 2015, the Government subsequently announced a review of technical and professional education. Launching the review, the Government. set out its terms in a published briefing document:

“The panel155 will focus on defining the form and structure of the routes e.g. ensuring clear TPE [Technical and Professional Education] pathways to those occupations which typically require qualifications at Levels 2 to 5 … Particular attention will be given to lower attaining students who may not be ready to embark on TPE [technical and professional education] at the age of 16 … ”156

89.The Government hopes to simplify “the currently over-complex technical and professional education system into clear routes, working in direct partnership with employers” to include “having a small number of clearly-identified progression routes … to ensure the new system provides the skills most needed for the 21st-century economy.”157 This has been tried before.

90.The 2004 Tomlinson Review of the curriculum for 14–19 year olds attempted to create a high quality, joined, technical and vocational route that was integrated into an overall framework.158 Professor Ann Hodgson explained:

“He [Tomlinson] called it a diploma … The importance of that was that all young people received a core of learning that was felt to be important for 21st century life. It goes back to the question that was asked earlier about what is the purpose of education. It also meant that it was simpler because you could understand that if it is all one qualification, but there are different pathways within it, at least everyone can be asked, “Are you on your bacc or are you are on your diploma? Which part of it are you doing?” It is a way of making sure that everyone gets a certain core of learning, and that is not the case currently.”159

91.The recommendations for an overarching diploma system were not implemented in 2004.

92.Some witnesses told us that the recommendations from the Tomlinson report should have been implemented.160 Other witnesses agreed that non-academic routes to work need to have a mixture of core learning and vocational learning.161 We agree with the principles behind the Tomlinson report.

93.The expansion of higher education has served some groups well. It has, however, disadvantaged those already underserved by the education system and inhibited upwards social mobility for those in the middle.

94.Non-academic routes to employment are complex, confusing and incoherent. The qualifications system is similarly confused and has been subjected to continual change.

95.These options do not guarantee routes into good quality employment. The qualifications themselves are often poorly understood by employers. Employers cannot be expected to understand what skills unfamiliar qualifications represent and cannot be expected to have knowledge and faith in their quality.

96.These structural issues are deep-seated. They further disadvantage those already underserved by the system, who then become at risk of ending up in low-skilled and insecure employment or of becoming NEET.

97.The UK needs a structure which offers better routes to those who do not follow an academic route. Such routes need to make sense, be purposeful and be of a high quality.

98.We welcome the ‘Sainsbury’ review of technical and professional education and hope it will provide greater clarity for young people about their routes into work. We also welcome the review’s focus on progression for lower attaining students and hope the review improves the situation of middle attainers.


99.The Government has committed to creating three million apprenticeships by 2020. Our witnesses welcomed the clear pathway into work and careers that a high-quality apprenticeship can offer.162 Sir Michael Wilshaw said that those apprenticeships had to be “of high quality and recognised to be so by the public and employers.”163

Higher apprenticeships

100.High-level apprentices can go on to earn more than some university graduates. City and Guilds told us: “Apprenticeships are an excellent way of improving social mobility. The earning potential of apprentices … was found to compare favourably with the same £150,000 lifetime earnings advantage that a representative graduate would earn compared to a non-graduate.”164 Moira McKerracher told us that an overhead cable engineer “three years after an apprenticeship … can command £70,000 to £80,000.”165 The returns on an apprenticeship should not be discounted as high wages can be gained quickly and without the debt that can be accumulated whilst studying for a degree. This means there appears to be no economic disadvantage from doing an apprenticeship compared to doing a degree.

101.The earning potential of apprenticeships has to be considered in context. Dr Liz Atkins told us “only a very small number of apprenticeships are at Level 3—a majority are at lower levels and do not provide the progression to the labour market implied by Level 3.”166 There is fierce competition for Level 3 apprenticeships. Professor Baroness Wolf told us that “it is harder to get onto a RollsRoyce apprenticeship scheme than it is to get into Oxford or Cambridge”.167 This competition means that these apprenticeships go to the highest achievers, not to middle attainers. This means that the majority of young people are unlikely to realise the significant financial returns that a high-level apprenticeship can offer.

Apprenticeship target and standards

102.Some of our witnesses were concerned that the focus on creating three million apprenticeships was dangerous. Professor Baroness Wolf said “the target is a big mistake” and there was a risk “where almost every young person in the country became an apprentice, and that is not what the labour market needs, and not what we can afford either.”168 A number of our witnesses agreed and were concerned the quality of apprenticeships might be compromised by increasing the number of apprenticeships.169

103.Professor Orr warned that sub-standard apprenticeships, for instance those not linked to a profession, risked “demeaning the brand of apprenticeship”.170 The Government is working to strengthen the standards of apprenticeships through measures in the Enterprise Bill (see Box 8 below).

Box 8: The Enterprise Bill171

The Enterprise Bill includes measures to increase the number of apprenticeships in the public sector, and to prevent the term ‘apprenticeship’ from being misused.

It provides a power for the Secretary of State to set targets for public sector bodies in relation to the number of apprentices they employ in England. It requires public bodies to report annually on progress against meeting the targets. This is designed to help the Government meet its commitment to deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

The Bill looks to make it an offence for a person to provide or offer a course or training as an apprenticeship if it is not a statutory apprenticeship, that is, an apprenticeship which does not meet Government standards. It also looks to strengthen and protect the reputation of the apprenticeship brand for training providers, employers and apprentices. It hopes to do this by maintaining standards and ensuring that statutory apprenticeships are not confused with lower quality training.

In order to meet the Government’s minimum standards, apprenticeships already have to be a minimum length of 12 months; include 280 hours of guided learning and employ apprentices for 30 hours a week.

104.Apprenticeships have a strong tradition of providing robust training in a number of professions, and have been well regarded for a long time. The existing quality of apprenticeships must not be compromised for the sake of greater quantity. If it is, employers may often overlook apprentices for the ‘safer’ academic option. There is also a risk that the ‘brand’ of apprenticeships is damaged—alienating employers and young people from participation. The Government has placed substantial emphasis on quantity and, more recently, on standards. The results of this policy emphasis remain to be seen.

Apprenticeships are not suitable for all

105.The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, said in November 2015 that the aspirations of school-leavers should be “ … either apprenticeships or university for almost everyone.”172 Yet, despite Government efforts, only six per cent of 16–19 year olds started an apprenticeship in 2014/5 as compared to the 35 per cent of 18 year olds who apply for university.173 Amongst other things this is due to the reluctance of employers to take on younger apprenticeships (see Chapter 2).174

106.Higher education will not be suitable for everyone. Neither will apprenticeships. We received evidence that such an emphasis on those going on to higher education or apprenticeships could limit social mobility for a significant number of young people in England.

107.For instance, the Learning Revolution Trust warned us of the “danger that the current political emphasis on expanding apprenticeship provision will be used as a cover for a major reduction in choices and opportunities for young people.”175

108.The requirements of an apprenticeship are in place in order to maintain the quality of provision. But these requirements can make apprenticeships unsuitable for a significant number of young people.

109.Apprentices aged 16–18, or aged 19 or over and in their first year of an apprenticeship, have to be paid a minimum of £2.73 an hour. The national minimum wage for non-apprentices is £6.70 an hour. The TUC told us: “the effects of low apprenticeship pay will be most keenly felt by the poorest students and their families” and that “some families will lose their child benefit payment and child tax credit when their son or daughter starts an apprenticeship.”176 Other witnesses shared similar concerns.177 The Young Women’s Trust conducted a poll which showed that female apprentices earn less than male apprentices (on average £1.03 less an hour); that young women would be more likely to be unemployed than men at the end of an apprenticeships; and were more likely not to receive training than men whilst completing an apprenticeship.178 The low rate of pay is a barrier to those lower down the social ladder.

110.Access to apprenticeships is not equal. For instance, only nine per cent of apprentices come from a black, Asian or other minority ethnic background (BAME) versus 16 per cent of the population.179 Ethnic minorities are also under-represented in some apprenticeship sectors—the proportion that apply for one is higher than the proportion that start one: 25 per cent of applicants are BAME versus 10 per cent of starters.180

111.Only 46.8 per cent of apprenticeship starters were female,181 versus 50.7 per cent of the UK’s overall population.182

112.Only 10.2 per cent of apprentices have a disability and/or learning difficulty183 compared to approximately 14 per cent of the working-age population.184

113.Apprenticeships are a good way of upskilling people for the future economy and meeting economic need and we welcome the recent focus on them. Apprenticeships are not, however, the only answer. The current emphasis on them risks creating a system where there are only two options for transition into work: an apprenticeship or higher education. There must be scope in the system for those who are not ready to undertake either route to be prepared and supported for the transition into the workplace.

95 Q 2 (Juliet Chua)

96 Ibid.

97 Written evidence from OFSTED (SMO0047); Hertfordshire County Council (SMO0026); London Councils (SMO0057); Telford and Wrekin Council (SMO0009); ASDAN (SMO0054), Aspire Group (SMO0007), Carers Trust (SMO0033), Inclusion Trust (SMO0107), Learning Revolution Trust (SMO0022); Prospects Services (SMO0091); Pupils2Parliament (SMO0132), STEMNET (SMO0109); The Who Cares? Trust (SMO0050); Association of Teachers and Lecturers (SMO0084); Careers England (SMO0044); Emfec (SMO0113); The Royal British Legion (SMO0072)

98 White British female, aged 19–24 with disabilities and SEN, who attended a non-selective state school in London. See report of survey results:

99 White British female, aged 19–24 who had been in local authority care, who attended a non-selective state school in Preston. See report of survey results:

100 Cardine, a participant in our focus group on 27 October (see Appendix 4)

101 White British Female, aged 16–18, who attended a select state school in Cardiff. See report of survey results:

102 Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, State of the Nation 2015: Social Mobility and Child Poverty in Great Britain (December 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

103 The proportion of economically active young people in low-paid occupations has risen since 1993 – from 39 to 52 per cent. Anitha George, Hilary Metcalf, Leila Tufekci and David Wilkinson, Understanding Age and the Labour Market (June 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

104 Those on the margins of full A-Level participation—failing AS, dropping out of AS, reducing the number of A-Level subjects taken to two in Year 13; attaining low A-Level grades or taking a mixed general and vocational programmes (estimated to be about 20 per cent of the 16+ cohort); those following Level 3 NVQ or equivalent such as BTEC National Diplomas (recorded as 15 per cent); those following Level 2 NVQ or equivalent such as BTEC First Diplomas (recorded as 13 per cent); those following Level 1 NVQ or equivalent such as Foundation Learning (recorded as six per cent).

105 Written evidence from Prof Ann Hodgson and Prof Ken Spours (SMO0012)

107 Ibid.

108 Written evidence from Prof Ann Hodgson and Prof Ken Spours (SMO0012)

109 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, ‘Higher education: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice’ (November 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

110 For instance the 2010–2015 Government policy: higher education participation (updated May 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

111 Gordon Brown’s speech at the University of Greenwich, 31 October 2007, as reported in the House of Lords Library Note, Debate on 26 June: Higher Education, (June 2008): [accessed 22 March 2016]

112 The Rt Hon Tony Blair, Prime Minister, addressing a meeting concerned with post-16 Education and Training, 11 February 1999. Referenced in Department for Education, National Statistics Quarterly Review Series, Review of the initial Entry Rate into Higher Education (2003)

113 Eligible Scottish domiciled students studying full-time in Scotland are not required to pay tuition fees if studying for a first degree or equivalent. Students may also be eligible to apply for an income assessed bursary and student loan to help with living costs from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). The Scottish Government, ‘Financial help for students’: [accessed 22 March 2016]

Information on student numbers is set out in the Scottish Funding Council outcome agreements – these are the contractual agreements that are made with individual higher education institutions in Scotland on the number of funded places that they should aim to allocate in any given academic year. For 2015–16 the total number of agreed funded places, for Scottish domiciled and EU students, that the Scottish Government will fund tuition fees for are: Non- controlled student places funded by the Scottish Funding Council = 107,201.3; Controlled student places funded by the Scottish Funding Council = 8,002.4; Controlled student places funded by the Scottish Government = 9,068,3. The total of all these combined is = 124,274 student places. The above relates to student taking degree or equivalent level study at higher education institutions only. Scottish Funding Council, ‘University Outcome Agreements 2015–16 Sector Summary Information’:–16/UniversityOA15-16SectorInformation.aspx [accessed 22 March 2016]

114 Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Access to High Education in Wales (September 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

115 Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland, ‘Higher education widening participation’: [accessed 22 March 2016]

116 European Commission, The European Higher Education Area in 2015: Bologna Process: Implementation report (May 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

117 European Commission, The European Higher Education Area in 2015: Bologna Process: Implementation report (May 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

118 Full time and part time, UK domicile and non-UK domicile.

119 Higher Education Statistics Agency, ‘Students, Qualifiers and Staff data tables’: [accessed 22 March 2016] and–95_table_9a.pdf [accessed 22 March 2016]

120 UCAS, ‘2015 Undergraduate End of Cycle Report’ (16 December 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

121 Written evidence from Prof Ken Roberts (SMO0002)

122 Written evidence from CASCAiD Ltd (SMO0061)

123 160 (The Rt Hon Alan Milburn)

124 Q 46 (Prof Ewart Keep)

125 Written evidence from UKCES (SMO0001)

126 UKCES, The Labour Market Story: The State of UK Skills (2014): [accessed 22 March 2016]

127 Q 3 (Juliet Chua)

128 Written evidence from Pinetree Enterprises Ltd (SMO0015); Careers South West (SMO0095); Capp (SMO0069), Prospects Services (SMO0091); MiddletonMurray (SMO0013); Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation (SMO0066); National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (Inclusion) (SMO0078); Nacro (SMO0123); Careers England (SMO0044); Prof Ann Hodgson and Prof Ken Spours (SMO0012); Fair Train (SMO0067); Prof Alison Fuller and Prof Lorna Unwin (SMO0010); YMCA Training (SMO0077)

129 Written evidence from the Welsh Government (SMO0021)

130 Written evidence from Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and Youth Connexions Hertfordshire (SMO0026)

131 Written evidence OFSTED (SMO0047)

132 See for instance Prof Baroness Wolf, Review of Vocational Education – The Wolf Report (March 2011):–2011.pdf [accessed 22 March 2016]

133 Q 21 (The Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP)

135 Written evidence from Prof Alison Fuller and Prof Lorna Unwin (SMO0010); Nacro (SMO0123)

136 UKCES, Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications in England (November 2013): [accessed 22 March 2016]

137 See for instance, HM Government, Getting the job done: the government’s reform plan for vocational qualifications (March 2014): [accessed 22 March 2016)

138 Written evidence from The Gatsby Charitable Foundation (SMO0037); Prof Alison Fuller and Prof Lorna Unwin (SMO0010); Careers South West (SMO0095), University Alliance (SMO0027)

139 Q 163 (The Rt Hon Alan Milburn)

140 Written evidence from Pinetree Enterprises Ltd (SMO0015); Careers South West (SMO0095); Capp (SMO0069), Prospects Services (SMO0091); MiddletonMurray (SMO0013); Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation (SMO0066); National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (Inclusion) (SMO0078); Nacro (SMO0123); Careers England (SMO0044); Prof Ann Hodgson and Prof Ken Spours (SMO0012); Cascaid (SMO0061)

141 Q 17 (Dr Claire Crawford)

142 Q 30 (Prof Kenneth Roberts)

143 Written evidence from The Gatsby Charitable Foundation (SMO0037); Prof Alison Fuller and Prof Lorna Unwin (SMO0010); Careers South West (SMO0095), University Alliance (SMO0027)

144 Written evidence from New Economy (on behalf of Greater Manchester Combined Authority) (SMO0088); Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (SMO0094); The Science Council (SMO0120); Capp (SMO0069); Barclays PLC (SMO0115)

145 Written evidence from Telford and Wrekin Council (SMO0009); Capp (SMO0069); Prospects Services (SMO0091); Dr Simon Reddy (SMO0006), City & Guilds (SMO0073)

146 Prof Baroness Wolf, Review of Vocational Education: The Wolf Report (March 2011): :–2011.pdf [accessed 22 March 2016]

147 UKCES, Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications in England (November 2013): [accessed 22 March 2016]

148 HM Government, 2010 to 2015 government policy: further education and training (May 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

149 UKCES, Standards and frameworks: an overview (June 2014): [accessed 22 March 2016]

151 Written evidence from Access To The Professions (SMO0124)

152 Q 17 (Dr Claire Crawford)

153 White British male, aged 19-24, who attended a non-selective school in Wirral, Merseyside. See report of survey results:

154 Written evidence from HM Government (SMO0055)

155 The review panel will be chaired by Lord Sainsbury of Turville, the former Minister of Science and Innovation. He will be joined by Bev Robinson, the Principal and Chief Executive of Blackpool & The Fylde College, Prof Baroness Wolf, author of the Wolf Review of Vocational Education, Simon Blagden, the Non-Executive Co-Chairman of Fujitsu and Steve West, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England.

156 HM Government, Implementing the Further Education and Skills Reform Programme (December 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

157 Ibid.

158 Working Group on 14–19 Reform, 14–19 Curriculum and Qualifications Reform: Final Report of the Working Group on 14–19 Reform, (October 2004): [accessed 22 March 2016]

159 Q 179 (Prof Ann Hodgson)

160 Q 33 (Prof Ken Roberts)

161 Written evidence from Ofsted (SMO0047) and Baker Dearing Educational Trust (SMO0136)

162 See written evidence from KPMG (SMO0121); Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (SMO0043); National Union of Students (SMO0080); and Matteo Calogiuri (SMO0008)

163 Q 115 (Sir Michael Wilshaw)

164 Written evidence from City & Guilds (SMO0073)

165 Q 17 (Moira McKerracher)

166 Written evidence from Dr Liz Atkins (SMO0018)

167 Q 131 (Prof Baroness Wolf of Dulwich)

168 Q 133 (Prof Baroness Wolf of Dulwich)

169 Written evidence from Joseph Rowntree Foundation (SMO0023); CET (SMO0059); The Sutton Trust (SMO0111); City & Guilds (SMO0073); NHS Employers (SMO0105); Recruitment and Employment Confederation (SMO0075); Association of Teachers and Lecturers (SMO0084); London Councils (SMO0057); Trades Union Congress (SMO0104); Social Policy and Research Centre, Middlesex University (SMO0036); The Edge Foundation (SMO0024); British Chambers of Commerce (SMO0103)

170 Q 181 (Prof Kevin Orr)

171 At the time of writing, the Bill is before Parliament having been subject to its third reading in the House of Lords on 9 March 2016. It is expected the Bill will be enacted sometime in 2016.

172 The Rt Hon David Cameron MP, CBI Annual Conference 2015 Prime Minister’s speech, (9 November 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

173 Universities UK, ‘UK Higher Education in Facts and Figures 2015’, (September 2015): [accessed 22 March 2016]

174 Education Committee, Apprenticeships and traineeships for 16 to 19 year-olds (Sixth Report, Session 2014–15, HC 597)

175 Written evidence from the Learning Revolution Trust (SMO0022)

176 Written evidence from Trades Union Congress (SMO0104)

177 See written evidence from Barnardo’s Participation Service (SMO0112); Barnardo’s Focus Groups (SMO0138); The Big Academy (SMO0116); Middlesex University London (SMO0136); and High Peak Borough Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMO0068)

178 Written evidence from the Young Women’s Trust (SMO0046)

179 Written evidence from National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (Inclusion) (SMO0078). Skills Funding Agency and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, ‘Statistical data set (England): Apprenticeship geography, equality & diversity and sector subject are: starts 2002/03 and 2015/16 reported to date’: [accessed 22 March 2016]

180 Written evidence from Trades Union Congress (SMO0104)

181 Skills Funding Agency and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, ‘Statistical data set (England): Apprenticeship geography, equality & diversity and sector subject are: starts 2002/03 and 2015/16 reported to date’: [accessed 22 March 2016]

182 The World Bank, Population, female (per cent of total), 2011–2015: [accessed 22 March 2016]

183 Skills Funding Agency and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, ‘Statistical data set (England): Apprenticeship geography, equality & diversity and sector subject are: starts 2002/03 and 2015/16 reported to date’: [accessed 22 March 2016]

184 The Annual Population Survey (APS) 2012 found that 14.4 per cent of people in employment aged 16 to 64 declared themselves as disabled. This illustrates the complexity of defining and measuring disability through statistics.

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