24 September 2012

Figures published last week (Wed 26 Sept) have shown a rise in the numbers of Northamptonshire young people in education, training or employment with training.

The publication of national statistics by the Department for Education shows that in Northamptonshire, participation in education and training for 16 and 17 year olds has increased to above national and regional averages.

Councillor Andrew Grant, Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet member for children, learning and skills, said: “The figures show that we are maintaining an upward trajectory for this group of young people, and the benefits are being seen for both males and females and for both ages.

“It’s very encouraging to see the impact of the many different strands of work taking place across the county. We’ve had investment in some outstanding new education facilities around the county, including new further education college campuses in Northampton and Corby and the two new academies in Kettering.

“We’ve also been working with our partners in delivering new University Technical Colleges in Daventry and Silverstone Circuit planned to open in September 2013. This will add to the choice of high quality provision in the county alongside the opportunities in school sixth forms, further education colleges and through apprenticeships.

“We’ve maintained support for the Connexions service locally, which works in schools and colleges, provides on-line and telephone helpline support, and works from community venues. This includes help for more vulnerable young people in the county.”

The county council has also changed its procurement arrangements to encourage companies to offer apprenticeships by giving extra weighting to those organisations providing apprenticeships as one of a number of criteria which are required in the tendering process.

Of the 15,750 16 and 17 year olds in Northamptonshire, 87.7 per cent are known to be in education, training, apprenticeships or employment. That’s an increase of 0.9 per cent last year and positions the county above the national average by almost one per cent and above the regional average by one per cent.

The percentage of 16 and 17 year olds whose current activity was not known in June 2012, 5.5 per cent, is in line with the national and regional average of 5.4 and 5.6 per cent respectively. Work is ongoing to reduce this further by maximising offers of education and training to young people this September.