Any further questions?

From the event 'The corona class of 2020: How to support young people leaving education amid the crisis'


We often have more questions submitted for our event Q&A sessions than we’re able to answer. Where this is the case, we’ll endeavour to respond to a selection of the most interesting or most representative questions that went unanswered. The questions below were submitted to our panel for the event The corona class of 2020: How to support young people leaving education amid the crisis. Panellist and author of report Class of 2020, Dr Kathleen Henehan responds to these questions from our audience.

The most insecure young people are already among hardest hit & may not have the option to access further/higher education. Is it time to review the welfare system for young people and ensure benefits actually cover living costs, particularly for under 25s who currently face significantly lower rates?

Billy Harding, Centrepoint

Great question. Our report does not go into detail about the benefits system, and how rates vary for under 25s, but we do point out that most young people (or really anyone 18 years old and over) who do want to study full-time (16 hours or more a week) will not be able to continue claiming benefits.

And yet, someone studying-full time on a course that is below higher education level (for instance, a Level 3 or A-level equivalent course) won’t be eligible for a maintenance loan to allow them to pay for living costs. Government should consider extending to students in further education (more specifically courses at Level 3) the entitlement to maintenance loans that students on higher education courses already receive.

Should broadband be provided to everyone – as a utility – as an enabler for online training and education? If not, what would have a greater impact?

Abi Carter

The digital divide issue is central to whether or not many of the remote learning, careers advice and training that we discussed in today’s webinar can actually take place.

Beyond having access to high-speed broadband, we also know that young people may struggle to access the right computers and technology, not least because whatever resources they have could need to be shared with other family members.

This report, from the Sutton Trust, covers the challenges and potential solutions – including provision of technological resources – in a thoughtful and comprehensive way.

Please make sure BAME and disadvantaged communities are represented on any decision-making body for your Education Leavers Innovation Fund and any similar interventions being proposed.  Representation is crucial given the gaps in trust, confidence and disproportionate impact on these groups.

Patricia Hamzahee

Excellent point. Our report points to evidence that shows disadvantaged and some ethnic minority groups experience larger and longer employment scarring after a spell of unemployment than their white counterparts. Moreover, we know that disadvantaged students are less likely to be able to take part in remote learning than their more advantaged counterparts.

We think the Government could issue guidance saying programmes that specifically set out to address the inequalities that hinder disadvantaged young people (and more broadly, occur in disadvantaged places), such as access to remote learning and career services, are preferred or to be prioritised.

What regulatory changes (e.g. to apprenticeship levy rules) can the Govt. employ to boost prospects for young people in coming academic year?

Mat Ilic

In a previous Resolution Foundation briefing note, we argued that Government should consider requiring levy payers to dedicate at least half of their levy expenditure to the under-30s and an overlapping half to new starters to the firm.

We think that proposal is still right (whatever apprenticeship funds levy payers can spend should be prioritised for young people), but it’s fair to say that there will be fewer apprenticeship vacancies opening up at all for some time to come.

To that end, Government may want to look at creating apprenticeship programmes designed for young people (in addition to prioritising apprenticeship levy spending on young people)– at least as long as the labour market remains in limbo.

Watch the full discussion and access Kathleen’s presentation here.