A levels students ‘stuck for choice’ says union

UNISON is warning that A level students receiving their grades will be seriously stuck for choice over the next step, due to huge tuition fees, rising unemployment and drastic cuts to Connexions.

New figures released by the union reveal that only 15 out of 144 councils will continue to run a full careers service.

Government cuts have also led to 105 councils reducing staffing levels and 50 closing Connexions centres completely.

A huge database of information, which sets out whether students stay in education, find jobs or are unemployed, will disappear as part of the cuts, leading to a lost generation of young people.

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said: “Students should be celebrating their results and planning their futures. Instead they are hit with huge tuition fees, rising unemployment and drastic career service cuts.

“These students have come to a major crossroads, yet have no skilled help in choosing a route. If they feel that options are blocked off to them it will create a lost generation of young people.

“Local authorities are already washing their hands of career services, when schools are unable to take over the demand.

“There is no substitute for skilled staff, yet huge numbers are being lost in the lead up to the Government’s new all age careers service.

“This not only impacts upon the lives of the young people relying on vital services, but on the families who will now struggle to get by with a loss of income.

“A good quality careers service can make or break the future of a young person. We need to know how the Government will tackle this lost generation and prevent careers cuts hitting an already rocky economy.”