, , ,

Half of all Portsmouth students leaving education without key skills as City MP backs national reskilling campaign

Stephen Morgan MP has backed a ‘Ready for Work, Ready for Life’ campaign to deliver an education system that is fit for the future and equips young people, adults and our economy with the skills essential for success.
Currently 5 out of 10 young people in Portsmouth are leaving education without the level 3 (A-level or BTEC equivalent) skills and qualifications that are crucial for the modern economy. While Labour was in government, the number achieving these qualifications rose rapidly to 2010, but has since stalled with no national increase under the Conservatives since 2013.
It comes as the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact families with empty shelves and petrol pumps, and rising prices adding extra pressure.
In the sectors with the highest job vacancies in September – including health and care and wholesale – training opportunities have also been falling. Health and care sectors have seen further education student numbers fall by over 150,000 with a fall of over 138,000 students in retail and commerce.
This trend matches the declines in government investment. Funding for apprenticeships and adult education has fallen 35% in real-terms with spending on 16 – 19 education falling 21%.
At Labour Party Conference, Sir Keir Starmer set out plans to ensure young people leave education ready for work and ready for life. Alongside protecting BTEC qualifications, Labour would put a trained careers advisor in every school to help young people make the choices that are right for them and use unspent funding from the apprenticeships levy to create 100,000 new apprenticeships this year.
The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“Families across Portsmouth are feeling the brunt of the Conservatives’ failure to deliver the skills and training opportunities our country needs, with shelves left empty, petrol pumps running dry and the risk of Christmas chaos.
“I’m proud to be supporting this campaign to ensure every young person leaves education ready for work and ready for life, giving them the best start to their adult lives and our economy the skills that will help rebuild our country.”

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Young people are being let down, leaving education without the skills and qualifications which will open doors for their futures.
“Labour has set out a clear plan to deliver the skills young people and our economy will need for the future, from giving children new digital skills to delivering thousands of new apprenticeships.
 “Under the Conservatives skills and vocational training have been overlooked and undervalued. Labour would ensure every young person leaves education ready for work and ready for life.”