In response to the 2017 Budget, Nacro Chief Executive, Jacob Tas, said:
“We welcome the Budget plans to invest £500 million a year in developing vocational and technical education, enabling 16 to 19-year-olds to access improved training opportunities and routes into employment.
“It is absolutely right that the government recognises the important role that vocational education has to play in ‘up-skilling’ the UK workforce, improving productivity and giving young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, pathways into future careers.
“The proportion of young people in the UK who are not in education, employment or training is above the OECD average, and this must change. For some young people, mainstream education is not the right place for them to thrive. Nacro supports these young people to access our technical and vocational education programmes, which range from construction and mechanics to health and social care, at our skills centres located across the country.
“However, we are concerned that many young people are at an increased risk of homelessness, due to their automatic entitlement to housing benefit being removed, following new government regulations. While investment in education is essential all young people, particularly those who are vulnerable, need a stable home in order to achieve their full potential. These housing benefit restrictions will affect the prospects of many young people that are already facing real struggles as they try to build more positive futures.
“We urgently need a housing market that works for everyone, from first time buyers struggling to get onto the property ladder, right through to vulnerable people that need to access housing and assistance to get on the right track.”