With young people now required to stay in education or training until they reach the age of 18, Hampshire County Council can offer a wealth of advice to young people to help them with the choices available to them post 16 years of age. Commenting on the options, Councillor Peter Edgar, the County Council’s Executive Member for Education, said: “There are lots of opportunities available in Hampshire. As well as the option to move into sixth form education at school or college to take A-levels, young people have the chance to choose from a wide range of college courses or work-related training schemes such as apprenticeships and traineeships, providing on-the-job training and qualifications.”

Changes to the law in 2012, known as ‘raising the participation age’ (RPA), saw the introduction of new Government policy to give all young people the opportunity to develop their skills and qualifications beyond the age of 16 years, and to support them to secure employment or progress to higher education.

Cllr Edgar added: “Our Hampshire Futures service helps young people and adults access employment, education and training and supports them to develop the skills they need to live purposeful and fulfilled lives. There is a wealth of information available online, including our own web pages for young people: Youth Tube This is especially helpful for those who have not yet made up their minds about what they want to do beyond secondary education.”

During the first phase of the law (that came into effect in 2013) requiring young people to stay in education or training until they were 17, 24,000 young people in Hampshire went on to study for vocational qualifications or A-Levels, enter training and apprenticeships or combined employment with additional training.

A proportion benefited from the County Council’s Hampshire Award Programme which offers young people the chance to develop practical life and teambuilding skills, experience what a workplace is like through work placement opportunities, and gain nationally recognised qualifications.

Demand for apprenticeships across Hampshire is growing. Hampshire County Council has its own apprenticeships and traineeships programme, currently training 100 young people. The Hampshire County Council Youth Investment Programme is aiming to provide up to 1000 employment opportunities for young people over the next three years. Opportunities across the spectrum include catering, countryside or registration services, highways teams, engineering and more. More information can be found on Youth Tube

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