House of Commons Education Committee recommends statutory PSHE and SRE
Michael Mercieca responds in support of PSHE and SRE being compulsory in schools
Young Enterprise fully supports the Education Committee’s recommendation for statutory PSHE in the school curriculum. While space in the curriculum remains an issue, we firmly believe that all school pupils should have access to personal and social health education. The subject offers a host of invaluable topics that will better equip our young people with skills such as communication, teamwork, creativity, problem-solving and resilience; readying them for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities that they will encounter post education. One of the biggest difficulties today’s employers face is a lack of employability skills amongst applicants.
The report comes as tomorrow’s labour statistics on youth unemployment are expected to still be triple the headline rate. Young Enterprise firmly believes that a system change is desperately needed to see a steady decrease in these figures once and for all. While today’s announcement by the Prime Minister, that young people who are not in employment, education or training should take on unpaid work to be eligible for benefits, does address the value of work experience and enterprise, it does not offer a preventative solution to this ever-growing issue.
The number of young people who are NEET is ever-alarming and responsibility for its reduction must be taken. Early and meaningful intervention is key to tackling this figure, providing young people with the motivations, skills and real-life experiences that will not fail them when they leave school. While the UK has a long way to go in tackling youth unemployment, dedicated curriculum time, the provision of suitable training for teachers in PSHE and raising the status of the subject in schools nationwide would be a very positive start.