Education and Skills Bill Parliamentary Briefing
Summary of the Commission's position
- The Commission strongly welcomes the Bill and supports the aim of raising ambition and aspiration for all.
- Apprenticeships (p 3): We would like to see the National Minimum Wage exemption removed for apprentices under the age of 19 and set at an equivalent of the youth rate. We also believe the exemption for those apprentices over 19 in their first year of an apprenticeship should be removed.
- Careers advice (p 4): It is imperative that careers advice and guidance should not be limited due to stereotypes about gender, race, disability etc. We would also like to see offers of non-traditional work experience placements.
- Enforcement measures (p 5): We welcome the Government's assurances that custodial sentences will not result for non-payment of a fine and welcome Baroness Morgan's amendment to remove this possibility. However, we remain concerned that after a two and a half year period, individuals will have to actively declare the offence of not complying with the duty when applying for roles which are exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
- Alternative provision (p 6): The Commission remains concerned about the provision in Clause 140 which formalises the current practice where schools allow pupils to attend alternative provision with a view to changing their behaviour. We are therefore supportive of the aims of Baroness Morgan's amendment to ensure that this would be a short-term measure and look forward to seeing the detail of the regulations and accompanying guidance.
- Learning and support contracts (p 6): The Commission supports amendments which place the onus on the local education authority to ensure that there is support available to enable all young people to participate in education or training.
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