Raising participation age

The Government has said that by September 2015 all young people must remain in learning until their 18th birthday. 17 year olds must already be in learning. This is called Raising Participation Age or sometimes you will hear it called RPA. This video made by young people is just 4½ minutes and will tell you everything you need to know about RPA. Below we have also set out further information to help you help your son or daughter.

Why your child should continue to learn

FACT: the longer he/she remains in learning, the more they are likely to earn.

FACT: More choice in the jobs market. Employers say that too many young people are unable to apply literacy, numeracy and IT skills in the workplace. If your son or daughter carries on learning these skills, he/she will increase their chance of getting the job they want.

FACT: The more skills they have the more options they will have too.

What are your child’s options

RPA does not mean your son or daughter must stay on at school. He/she has different options and picking the right one for them is the most important thing you can do to help them. Your son or daughter must choose one of these:

  • Full-time education: this is likely to mean a school Sixth Form, a Further Education College, a Sixth Form College or a Training Provider.
  • Apprenticeship: work based learning combines paid work with on-the job training and getting a qualification. Very often a job offer happens at the end. Most of an apprentice’s training takes place on the job. Off the job, often on a day release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications. This can take place in a local college or specialist training organisation. The amount of time spent on off-the-job training depends on the apprenticeship.
  • Employment of volunteering with part-time education or accredited training: your son/daughter can also work or volunteer as long as he/she undertakes part-time education or an accredited training course for at least a day a week (or its equivalent). This applies if he/she is employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours per week

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