Youngsters getting good deal in Rotherham

Published Wednesday, 1st February 2017

Rotherham is bucking the trend as a new report reveals hundreds of teenagers are in education or training for work in the borough.

Every year all local authorities have to report to the Government how many young people aged 16 and 17 are either still being educated or in training places.

And results just published, called the “September Guarantee”; show Rotherham to have increased its figures from last year. The figures show 98.2 per cent of youngsters are either at school or college or training for a job.

This is four percent above the national picture and two per cent above other neighbouring authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber.

This places Rotherham in the top quartile for this data set nationally.

Ian Thomas, Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council said: “We have worked hard to ensure that all our young people are given the best opportunities in life, and these statistics show this is clearly paying off.

“Our commitment as a council is that every child will get the best start in life and this includes making sure they have good opportunities when they turn 16.

“However, we won’t rest on our laurels and will continue to work to ensure all children in Rotherham have the best chances they can, whether this is through staying on in education or by being in training in a job. It is in all our interests to make sure future generations have the right skills to ensure they are able to enter the world of work.”

In 2015 the law changed, meaning all young people must continue in training or learning until their 18th birthday, called 'raising the participation age' or ‘RPA’.

This means the Council is required by law to identify which 16 and 17 year olds do not have a suitable offer to progress into education, employment or training for the September academic year.

Once identified, they work closely with those young people who do not have the opportunity to progress, to ensure they can find an offer that is suitable for them.

Many young people choose to stay in school, but some take up other options. These include college, starting an apprenticeship or a traineeship, or combining learning with working and volunteering.

Youngsters can start work after sixteen, but will need to do training or learning that will lead to a real, valuable qualification as part of this job.