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From the start of the 2013/14 Academic year the Government changed the law on how long young people are required to stay in education or training.
‘Raising the Participation Age‘ (RPA) means that young people must now stay in education or training:
We take a look at what this means for Employers. [Article updated 2015]
Young People will now have a choice to either:
Full-time work is defined in this situation as a job lasting for 8 or more weeks consecutively and for 20 or more hours per week (so this does not include summer jobs).
** Part-time accredited training is defined as a minimum of 280 guided learning hours per year (so, equivalent to 1 day per week, although it does not have to be done like this, it can be taken as distance or evening learning).
So, if you employ young people what does this mean?
There are no new legal duties for employers of young people (you do not need to check they are participating in training, which was originally intended by the draft legislation).
If you employ a young person on ‘full-time’ (see above) work they are required to take part-time education or training alongside their work. You are, however, not required to give these young employees time off to do this training, although employers are asked to consider how they could support the young employee’s learning (set shifts/hours to fit in with the training, for example) – this only applies in England it does not apply in Wales and Scotland, where they must allow the employee time off work to study a relevant qualification. In England it is not specified whether or not an Employer should be paid for any time taken off.
The Government fully funds all accredited training for 16-18 year olds and local authorities have a duty to secure education or a training place for all young people.
What if a young person you employ doesn’t take up part-time training? As an employer you have no responsibility to ensure this happens and no action will be taken against an employer if their employee fails to undertake the training. However, Employers should check school leavers qualifications to ascertain or not whether the young person will be required to continue in some form of education or training whilst in employment.
The employee, themself, is under a legal duty to undertake the training.
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