Employing school leavers – a change in the law for young people

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 longer.

‘Raising the Participation Age‘ (RPA) means that young people must now stay in education or training:

  • until the end of the academic year in which they reach the age of 17 or
  • From 26th June 2015, when all young people will need to stay in education or training until their 18th birthday, where they do not have a level 3 qualification.

Young People will now have a choice to either:

  • continue full-time study in a school, college or with another accredited training provider (the study must lead to accredited training) or
  • take full-time work * or volunteer or set up their own business (be self-employed) combined with part-time education or training ** that leads to accredited training or
  • take on an apprenticeship.

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.
We look at all the details here.

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