For many years, practical qualifications and apprenticeships – referred to as ‘vocational’ education – have not been successful in helping young people get the secure jobs they want.
After finishing school, some people choose to continue their education or training. But for many years, practical qualifications and apprenticeships – referred to as ‘vocational’ education – have not been successful in helping young people get the secure jobs they want.
In 2011, the Department for Education asked Professor Alison Wolf to investigate vocational education in the UK, and recommend how to improve it for future generations. Professor Wolf used information from Next Steps to show that your generation was actively seeking work, but that around a third to a half of you struggled to find appropriate courses and jobs, and as a result changed occupations frequently and spent periods of time not in work, education or training.
Based on these findings, Professor Wolf was able to make 27 specific recommendations of how to improve practical education and training opportunities for young people that will help them to get jobs with good opportunities for progression.
The government committed to acting on all of the recommendations in Professor Wolf’s report:
“Policymakers have struggled with our failure to provide young people with a proper technical and practical education…if we are going to give all our young people the opportunities they deserve we must get it right. Thanks to Professor Wolf we now have a guide to get us there.”
— Michael Gove, Former Secretary of State for Education
Read Professor Wolf’s report
In February 2015, the Government published a report on its progress against the Wolf Report recommendations.