The transition from school into work is a vital point in the lives of young people. Making a successful transition through a high quality and valued pathway can mean a successful career. Becoming trapped in poor quality and under-valued alternatives can mean a lifetime of poverty.
This report is about young people and social mobility, and focuses on how to ensure that all young people are offered a high quality career path after they leave school. We have found that the current policy structure means a large number of young people do not have good options, and are not supported to make a choice which works for them and is successful.
An increasing number of young people leave school and go on to A-Levels and university. Of the others, a small minority are at risk of dropping out of education, employment or training—the NEETS. Successive governments have focused on these two groups for a long time. But the majority of young people in the UK do not fall into either group. They do not go to university; they find jobs or they continue with some form of vocational education. Despite making up the majority of the emerging workforce, they have received much less attention. It is these young people who are the focus of this report.