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Raising the participation age – risk of a fall?

22 August 2014

A report has highlighted the issues with Raising the Participation Age (RPA), mainly around the lack of advice available to young people and how the RPA will be enforced. When the RPA was first considered financial penalties were deliberated to penalise employers who flouted rules by failing to provide training and to ensure that young people accessed training or education. These steps were placed on hold.

Since RPA came into force last year, it is a legal requirement all young people are required to continue in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 (18 from summer 2015).

So young people now have a choice about how they continue in education or training, but without some form of enforcement there is a risk that the increase in participation age will be seen as ‘voluntary’ and will not have the envisaged impact on youth employment. It is likely that enforcement will be revisited if the uptake is as low as the report suggests.

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