The report, Overlooked and Left Behind, found that 53 per cent of young people who do not go to into higher education risk being trapped “in low-skilled, low-paid work, with little chance of a rewarding career.”
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And in a direct blow to the Government’s much trumpeted apprenticeships programme, the peers found just 6 per cent of 16-18 year olds are enrolled on the schemes.
Concluding: “The expansion of higher education has served some groups well. It has, however, disadvantaged those already underserved by the education system and inhibited upwards social mobility for those in the middle.
“Non-academic routes to employment are complex, confusing and incoherent. The qualifications system is similarly confused and has been subjected to continual change.”
Instead, the final four years of schooling should be redesigned so that more pupils can pass recognised vocational qualifications on a par with A-levels.