A-level results - chances of employment “getting slimmer by the second”

PUBLISHED: 05:23 19 August 2010

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A-LEVEL students receiving their results today (Thursday) face a bitter-sweet celebration according to Unison, the UK’s largest public sector union.

A dreary forecast by general secretary Dave Prentis said students in the East of England may have got their grades, but the chances of getting careers advice, university places and jobs look slimmer by the second.

“Young people work hard to get their A-Levels and should be able to look forward to a bright future,” he said.

“Instead they face huge youth unemployment, cuts to university places and courses, and the slashing of vital career services.

“Only this week 24,000 people applied for just 220 apprenticeships with BT – with apprenticeships hard to find, this scramble for places looks likely to turn into a damaging pattern.”

He added: “Careers services are crucial in providing advice for young people starved of choice, but huge cuts will see teenagers left without work and Connexions staff joining them on the dole queue.

“The government should be investing in the future generation of young people – not creating a lost generation.”

The warning that students risk being left without the help they need comes as the slashing of public services continues.

According to Unison figures, young people are increasingly likely to join the rising number of NEETS – people not in education, employment or training. As many as one in ten graduates and A-Level students now fall into this group.

In the eastern region, there have been a large number of careers service casualties, including Connexions staff and service cuts.

Although cuts within Essex Connexions are currently under review they are likely to follow other areas examples such as:

Bedford Connexions - £329,000 cut and recruitment freeze.

Cambridgeshire Connexions - 30 per cent budget cut

Southend-on-sea Connexions - £52,000 cut from budget, but not filling vacancies. Thurrock Connexions - at least £304,000 cut from budget 10 redundancies

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