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Education and the Changing Structure of Opportunities for Young People in England

Green, AD; Pensiero, N; Franceschelli, M; Henseke, G; (2017) Education and the Changing Structure of Opportunities for Young People in England. Asian Education Review , 1 (1) pp. 7-30. Green open access

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Abstract

In this article we explore the implications for young people’s life opportunities of rising levels of qualifications in England, drawing on a range of sources, including the OECD’s 2014 Survey and Adult Skills (SAS) and the UK Labour Force Survey. We find that increasing rates of participation in post 16 education and training in England has led to a substantial rise in qualification levels for the current generation of youth compared their parents’ generation. More inclusive participation has also narrowed inequalities in qualification outcomes and slightly reduced the social gaps in attainment of qualifications, at least at the upper secondary level. However, the gains in educational opportunities for young people are to some extent illusory. Improvements in the skills we can measure, like literacy and numeracy, have not kept pace with increasing qualifications rates, and inequalities in skills have reduced much less than those in qualifications, if at all. This suggests that much of rise in qualifications is indeed a question of credential inflation and yields few benefits to young people today in terms of future life prospects. Indeed our analysis of the occupational destinations of people qualified at different levels suggests a steady erosion of the value of qualifications of all levels on the labour market. At the same time career opportunities for young women have generally improved and, arguably, for most young people there is a sense that they are freer to aspire then was the case for their parents.

Type: Article
Title: Education and the Changing Structure of Opportunities for Young People in England
Location: Republic of Korea
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.ekera.org/bbs/board.php?bo_table=notice...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Literacy, Numeracy, skills, Skills Inequality
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1566413
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