Why the CBI's push for an extra year of education is not a bad thing
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The Confederation of British Industry wants all young adults who choose not to attend university to be entitled to an extra year of free education. Currently if you live in England and you’re between 16 and 19 years old when you start a course of further education, you can get funding from the government. If you're over the age of 19 either your parents pay, or you take out a government-backed loan to pay for your tuition and examination fees. The average cost for a three-year course is over £6,000. The intervention by the CBI comes amid growing pressure to achieve a better balance of funding between the almost half of 18 year olds in England who go to university and those who do not. The idea is to allow students to take course at a college or a foundation year at a university, leading to a qualification above A-level, but below a degree. Currently one in three 18 year olds attend university, with 60% studying A-levels. But what of the 40% not suited to academia? Those who would far rather be spending their time learning a skill or a trade or completing technical qualifications that would directly prepare young adults for the world of work.
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