If University isn't an option, what are the alternatives?by
Whilst we can only speculate on why university applications have declined, the general consensus seems to be that the coalition government's introduction of £9000 university fees is the main contributor in deterring young people.
The report also reveals that young people in disadvantaged areas are still almost three times less likely to apply to university than their richer peers, which worryingly suggests young people from poorer backgrounds are making life changing decisions to not go through with further education - purely because they've been priced out.
Shadow universities minister Shabana Mahmood said: "The UCAS application figures today show that the decision of the Conservative-led Government to treble tuition fees to £9,000 is hitting young people and their aspirations."
The underlying objective should be to ensure young people don't become NEETS, as losing a generation of untapped talent would be a costly mistake. In the case of further education vs employment, there should be no right or wrong answer but simply a well-supported decision.
This article was originally a blog post on TrainingZone. If you have something to say, then why not start blogging today?
Nathan Pearson-Smith is apprenticeship ambassador for Youth Connextions