Influences on post-16 participation
Published: May 2013
In response to the changes in post-16 education and training, we explored the factors influencing post-16 participation decisions for young people who chose to study part-time, and those who were not in education, training or employment (NEET).
The study found that post-16 participation decision making was complex and a range of factors influenced these decisions:
- negative school experiences deterred young people from continuing in post-16 education;
- the quality of advice and guidance influenced decision making,
- career aspirations facilitated post-16 decisions,
- family and friends were influential,
- the economic climate influenced the decisions young people made,
- and financial considerations influenced decisions for some.
Young people who chose to study part-time, did so for the following reasons:
- to make the workload manageable,
- to enable them to combine work and study,
- to accommodate personal circumstances including caring responsibilities and health concerns,
- to reduce the financial burden by working alongside studying.
Young people who had experienced being NEET had several suggestions for interventions to help them participate post-16 including more labour market experience pre-16; earlier advice and guidance to facilitate decision making; sufficient financial support to remove financial barriers to participation and increased apprenticeship and employment opportunities.
We conducted eighteen focus groups between September and November 2012:
- eight focus groups were carried out with young people (aged 16-18) studying part-time in Further Education (FE) colleges;
- and ten focus groups were carried out with young people currently, previously, or at risk of being NEET, in ten geographically spread local authorities.
Read the report