A new report by The House of Lords’ Committee on Social Mobility has drawn some frightening conclusions about the ‘inequality trap’ suffered by thousands of school leavers.
The committee found that the current school curriculum focuses too much on ‘academic pathways’ like University, to the detriment of those who won’t be going on into traditional higher education. The report, entitled Overlooked and Left Behind
, said school leavers are not only unprepared for the world of work but are suffering ‘significant disadvantages’ as they are more likely to be trapped in low-skilled, badly paid jobs with little or no prospects. “A culture of inequality between vocational and academic routes to work” pervades the education system,” they found.
This evidence comes as no surprise for those working within the sector, with leading lights like Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders agreeing that things must change. It also served to highlight the benefits that those students who leave school and go on to apprenticeships enjoy as they are prepared properly for the world of work.
“This is precisely why Apprenticeships are so important and so life-changing,” says Trevor Luker, director of the London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy. “Being an apprentice at the LHAA means you will already be employed by a salon, and that salon will support your studies every step of the way so you won’t have to worry about looking for a job when your apprenticeship is finished. What’s even better, at the LHAA we will not only prepare you for an exciting career and teach you all the skills you’ll need to become a success, you will also Earn While You Learn – develop your talents, getting a real taste of working life, and being paid a regular wage while you do it. That’s the reason more and more people are finding apprenticeships the perfect way to escape the ‘inequality trap’ and are starting the journey towards a creative, fulfilling and rewarding career.”