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Blunkett gives teenagers a lifeline for learning


David Blunkett today threw a lifeline to the 161,000 teenagers who have dropped out of education, training and employment. Speaking at a Downing Street seminar marking the publication of a report by the Social Exclusion Unit, Mr Blunkett said: "We now know that young people who drop out of the system between sixteen and eighteen are more likely to become long-term unemployed, turn to drugs, crime or both. Dropping out condemns too many young people to a lifetime of misery."

Mr Blunkett announced new proposals to:
€ provide young people with a new advice and support service.
€ create a more visible, universal and attractive goal for every young person to graduate by 19 - with at least 5 good GCSEs or the vocational equivalent - recognising the value of key skills and voluntary activity also;
€ provide better learning opportunities by bringing further education and training provision closer together and offering three main routes: general academic education; high quality vocational education and part-time study while working;
€ offer more unified financial support and improved financial incentives to help young people stay in learning including extending the Educational Maintenance Allowance pilots to include transport, help for disabled and homeless people, and single parents;
€ improve the opportunities of young offenders to study in custody with a programme of 30 hours a week of education, personal development and work-based learning.

The full text can be found at the DFEE website.


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