Graduate unemployment has repeatedly hit the headlines since the start of the recession. Yet it is the 50 per cent of young people who do not go to university that are the least protected in the labour market. Even those who manage to find work are at greater risk of future unemployment, have little opportunity for career progression and face static wages.
The Forgotten Half explores the school to work transitions of these young people. It finds the educational offer is severely lacking and makes recommendations for how to provide the employment premiums that will give this forgotten half of young people a fair shot at the labour market. These can be achieved in a variety of ways: through technical education such as apprenticeships, cultivation of soft skills, improved literacy and numeracy, and through work itself.
Within schools, providing access to these premiums means a professionalised careers service and a move away from a focus on academic skills. But schools can’t go it alone. Instead, this pamphlet suggests that schools open up to local community involvement and asks what can be done by charities, businesses, and government to support them.