Young adults to have 'greater choice' over education

Jeni Harvey

COUNCIL leaders in Sheffield have welcomed governmental changes that will give the authority increased responsibility for the education of those aged between 16 and 19.

From April, responsibilities that currently lie with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will be passed to Sheffield Council.

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Colin Ross, cabinet member for employment, enterprise and development at Sheffield Council, said the changes would enable the council to “take local action to meet local needs”.

He added: “We will tailor courses to better meet the needs of employers and those sectors of the local economy that are central to the economic transformation of the city. This includes the expansion of apprenticeships.

“Young people in Sheffield deserve every opportunity to succeed. By having more control on how the city’s learning is delivered we can make sure that it is responsive to the needs of individual post-16 learners.

“In short, we want to make sure that the workers of the future have the right education, skills and opportunities to succeed in life.”

As a result of the changes, Sheffield Council says it will be able to create a learning system that allows “far greater choice” to young people about where and how they learn.

Councillor Andrew Sangar, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We want the teaching at post-16 level in Sheffield to be innovative and inspirational, and to offer the choice and variety that will appeal to a much broader range of learners than at present.

“We want young people to stay in education and training beyond the age of 16 so that they have better opportunities later in life.

“But this will only happen if we offer young people the types of courses they want rather than them feeling forced down the traditional academic-only route.”