College not always the answer

PUBLISHED: 15:19 20 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 11 May 2010

MILLIONS of school leavers will go on the dole this summer, according to a new report. The study carried out by the Prince s Trust shows that one in every five school leavers will be signing on because they are unable to find employment. Those leaving sch

MILLIONS of school leavers will go on the dole this summer, according to a new report.

The study carried out by the Prince's Trust shows that one in every five school leavers will be signing on because they are unable to find employment. Those leaving school without GCSEs face a particularly bleak future.

To me this is a totally unacceptable situation, and while it is obviously in part down to the global recession, I feel the Government have to take some of the blame.

There has been such a focus on further education in the last few years that a lot of previously valuable options which were open to teenagers have disappeared.

We need more apprenticeships and vocational training schemes for our young people otherwise we will lose a whole generation of skilled workers.

At the moment everything is geared towards young people going to college and university, and while this is right for some, I think a lot end up going and doing A-levels and degrees just for the sake of it.

Of course, the Government say it has already invested £6.9billion in additional learning opportunities - whatever that means - for young people, but in my opinion it's not enough.

Professor Danny Dorling, who compiled the Prince's Trust report, told the BBC: "The rate of youth unemployment in the recession to come will depend almost entirely on what opportunities young people are offered. This is why we must act now."

Indeed, perhaps the Government should consider making the acceptance criteria for university stricter, so that only the people who really want to go end up taking a degree course.

The money saved could then be used in different, more useful, programmes, which suit the needs of young people in the current climate. If more provision was made for work-based training, I think our country would be a lot better off.

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Anybody out there still watching Big Brother? Someone? Anyone? That's what I thought.

It's about time that Channel Four put this shambles of a programme out of its misery. It has long since ceased to be entertaining, and is now just a pathetic freak show.

When they are reduced to taking in a house mate named Halfwit, it's a sure sign that that BB has become a parody of itself. Get rid. Now.

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