Further Education ineffective at tackling unemployment or inequality.

Official Government statistics show that young people are just as likely to be unemployed as they were 20 years ago despite increased participation in further education. In 2013, 42% of  16 to 24 year old’s in the UK were enrolled in full time education, up from 26% in 1993 but 19% were unemployed, an increase of 2% since 1993.

Though there are numerous factors behind these figures, including the economic downturn, the statistics provided by the Department for Work and Pensions could raise questions of the effectiveness of full time education as well as racial equality within the employment sector. Ethnic minorities have increased their participation in further education by 19% over the past 20 years, with 59% of young people from ethnic minority background now enrolled in full time education compared to 39% of youths from white backgrounds. However just as they were 20 years ago, young ethnic minorities remain twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts.

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Over the past 20 years, Black youths have increased their participation in further education more than any other ethnic group. In 1993, only 34% of young Black people were in full time education and they were more than twice as likely to be unemployed as white youths. As of 2013, 61% of young Black people are in full time education but statistics show race variations in employment have continued. 45% of all Black youths were unemployed in 2013, compared to just 19% of white youths.

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It is a similar story for Bangledeshi & Pakistani youths. Despite increasing their participation in further education from 31% in 1993 to 53% in 2013, they remain just as likely to be unemployed. The unemployment rate for Bangladeshi and Pakistani youths as of 2013 is 46% up from 43% in 1993.

Of all ethnic minorities, Chinese youths are most likely to be employed and currently have the highest participation in further education of any ethnic group. An estimated  67% of Chinese youths are in full time education, up from 54% in 1993 but 29% are unemployed, a 3% increase since  1993.

Statistics sourced from the DATA.GOV.UK. Full spreadsheet can be accessed here

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