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Without education and training that develops modern skills and takes account of why some young people do not succeed at school, economic trends show that many young people in Northern Ireland will struggle to find work, according to research from independent think tank Pivotal.
Northern Ireland’s education system is leaving many young people with low–level qualifications, but the local jobs market is already saturated with low–skilled workers. Meanwhile, economic forecasts indicate that future jobs will typically demand higher skills.
Without significant change, large numbers of local young people will find themselves competing for a shrinking number of low–skilled, low–paying jobs. At the same time, employers are likely to struggle to recruit people into higher skilled roles.
According to a new report published today by Pivotal, the independent think tank focused on Northern Ireland, a transformation and modernisation of skills development and careers advice for young people is needed.
Improved curriculums and training for those aged 14–19 could reduce future economic inactivity and create a more skilled workforce that would allow individuals to gain higher skilled, higher paid jobs. In turn, the Northern Ireland economy will benefit from a higher skilled, more flexible workforce.
Education, skills and training for young people aged 14–19 says that employability programmes have to take better account of why certain young people leave school with few qualifications or none at all, such as difficulties at home, or social pressures that suggest education and training are not valuable.
Schools, further education colleges and other settings should find a place for ‘soft skills’ in curriculums, while careers advice itself should be modernised, take better account of job trends, and make more efforts to engage young people – who sometimes think that college courses or vocational training are a second–class pathway. Read the full press release and report in the adjacent links.