Great Britain

Страница 6

§4. Education and training after 16.

The government has stated that all young people should have access to high-quality education and training after the age of 16. Young people have two routes they that can follow – one based on school and college education, and the other on work-based learning.

About 70% of pupils choose to continue full-time education after 16. Broadly speaking, education after 16 is divided into further and higher education. Further (and adult) education is largely vocational and covers up to and including GCE A-level and AC qualifications, General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQ) A-level. Higher education covers advanced courses higher than GCE A-level or equivalent.

Those wishing to go on to higher education stay for two years more into the Sixth form (17 year-olds in the Lower Sixth and 18 year-olds in the Upper Sixth). If their schools do not have the sixth form or do not teach the desired subjects pupils may choose to go to a Sixth Form College. The pupils then concentrate in two or three subjects, in which they take the GCE A-level examination. Good passes are now essential because the competition for places in the universities and other colleges has become much stiffer. The number of subjects taken at A-level varies between one and four, although three are usually required for entry into higher education. The concentration is upon a few subjects a high degree of early specialization in the British system.

Since 1988 there has been introduced a new level of examination: the AS exam, which is worth half an A-level and usually, involves one year’s study. This means that if pupils wish to study more than two or three subjects in the sixth form they can take a combination of ‘A’ and AS’ levels. A-level arts student, for example, can still study science subjects at AS-level.

Some young people want to stay in schools for the period between 16 and 18, not just to do academic work but also get ready for examinations that lead to professional training or vocational qualifications (and because the general level of unemployment is now high).

To the end of September 1992 there were introduced the GNVQ. They are mainly undertaken by young people in full-time education between the ages of 16 and 18 and focus on vocational skills such as business and finance, information and technology. There are three GNVQ levels – Advanced, Intermediate and Foundation. An Advanced GNVQ requires a level of achievement broadly equal to two GCE A-levels. Most commonly the GNVQ’s courses are studied at CFE but more and more schools are also offering them.

The following five levels of NVQs have been established:

Level 1 – Foundation;

Level 2 – Basic craft;

Level 3 – Technical, advanced craft, supervisor;

Level 4 – Higher technical, junior management;

Level 5 – Professional, middle management.

There are also job-specific National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).

These are the awards, which recognize work-related skills and knowledge and provide a path for lifelong learning. They are prepared by industry and commerce, including representatives from trade unions and professional bodies.

NVQs are based on national standards of competence and can be achieved levels from 1 to 5.

With Britain’s new enthusiasm for continuing education, far fewer 16 years-olds go straight out and look for a job than used to. About a third of them still take this option, however. The importance of creating a ‘gap’ in their education is ever appealing to young people in Britain today. Experience outside classroom is also valued since it demonstrates maturity and a willingness to be independent.

The first step for young people entering the job market is their local Jobcentre or careers office. Some school careers advisors teach such skills as filling out a curriculum vitae or writing letters applying for jobs, which is a problem for many young people. Youth workers of Youth Service organizations also can give advice and counseling. A large number 16 and 17 years-olds enter. Youth Training Programmes established by the government as a means of helping young people to gain vocational experience. The government guarantees a place on the scheme to everybody under 18 who is not in full-time education or in work. Such programmes cover a wide range of vocational skills from hairdressing to engineering.

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