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As the “back to school” rush gets underway pupils in England are facing a major change to the way in which they approach the end of their time in education. Not only do they have to continue in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17, or until their 18th birthday from 2015, but they also will be expected to continue their maths and english studies until they get a grade C or above at GCSE level.
That means that employers who traditionally recruit new employees at the age of 16 will have to work with them to satisfy the new regulations. This may involve either taking the employee on under the apprenticeship scheme or enabling them to undertake part time study which equates to approximately one day per week and which leads to a qualification.
For those who prefer to take on A’ level students, the regulations are more flexible as students who have gained qualifications equivalent to two or more A’ levels are exempt from the regulations, irrespective of age.
These moves by the government reflect a growing awareness of the importance of attaining a certain level of qualifications and the impact which these can have on later life both for the employer and employee. Businesses which are prepared to work with their employees both to encourage them to attain a basic level of knowledge and then to progress further with industry specific qualifications can benefit in the long term with engaged and knowledgeable employees contributing to the benefit of the organisation.