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Education in the media: 26 January 2016

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Further education, Higher Education, Social mobility, Universities

Today’s news review will look at the life satisfaction of those who take an apprenticeship instead of going to university, along with a report from the social mobility commission.


According to new research, young people who chose an apprenticeship over university are just as happy with their lives.  A report from University College London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined information on 16,000 young people born between 1989 and 1990 and found there is no ‘right way’ to transition into adult life.

45 per cent of young people in the study went to university, while 42 per cent entered the labour market. At aged 20, young people were asked how satisfied they were with how their lives had turned out and there was no significant difference between those at university or those in apprenticeships or work. This story was covered by City AM and the Daily Mail.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We are determined to build a world-class apprenticeships scheme which will give millions of people, regardless of background, the opportunity to secure the job they want and deliver the skills our economy needs.


That is why we are doubling funding for apprenticeships to £2.5 billion by 2019-20 - twice what was spent in 2010-11 - and giving employers more power than ever before to design training standards that meets their needs.


Quality is at the heart of all of our apprenticeship reforms. Apprenticeships must be of the highest quality and all standards are now developed by employers themselves and rigorously checked before being introduced. A record number of people participated in higher apprenticeships in the last academic year – almost 900,000 in total – with over 90% going into work or further training, and our new Get In Go Far campaign aims to inspire more young people to follow their example.

Social Mobility Commission

The Social Mobility Commission today, Thursday 26 January, published a report that found a ‘class pay gap’, with UK professionals from working-class backgrounds paid on average £6,800 less each year than those from affluent families. Other findings were that women and ethnic minorities face a ‘double disadvantage’ when it comes to earnings. This has been covered by the BBC, Independent, Guardian, Huff Post, FT, Mirror, Daily Mail, the Sun and City AM.

The Government recently launched an Industrial Strategy aimed at improving living standards, increasing the national productivity and ensuring growth is shared across the whole UK.

A Government spokesperson said:

We want to make this a country that works for everyone, whatever their background. Work is the best route out of poverty and education is key to making sure everyone can go as far as their talents will take them. We are looking at ways to deliver more good school places in more parts of the country, investing in improving careers education, transforming the quality of further and technical education and opening up access to our world–class higher education system.


Through our Industrial Strategy we are determined to close the wealth gap between regions, improve living standards and create jobs so everyone can share the benefits of our economic success. The government is also targeting social mobility ‘coldspots’ with twelve ‘Opportunity Areas’ where we are working with local organisations, schools, colleges, and businesses to overcome barriers to social mobility and make sure young people from all backgrounds can go as far as their talents will take them.

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