Headlines: August 23rd, 2005

In the week that will see thousands of young people receiving their GCSE results, a new study shows that they could see their lifetime earnings increase by up to 4,000 pounds a year but only if they stay in education and training.The figures published today by the Learning and Skills Council come with a reminder that many young people can now continue their learning with the support of an Education Maintenance Allowance. The statistics show that staying on after GCSEs to gain A-levels, GNVQ level 3s or just to retake subjects at GCSE level can increase a person’s earning power by up 4,000 pounds a year – 24 per cent more than someone who leaves education.

The findings show that retaking exams to achieve five GCSEs at the top A to C grades, including good passes in English and Maths, can also increase a person’s earning power by an average of 9 per cent, or about 1,400 a year more than someone leaving education without key GCSEs.

As a result of the statistics, young people are being urged not to allow immediate financial pressures to put them off further education or training and to take advantage of the EMA scheme. This pays eligible students a weekly allowance of between 10 and 30 pounds a week.

Trevor Fellowes, Head of Learner Support at the Learning and Skills Council, which operates the EMA scheme, said the statistics proved the financial benefits of further education. “With EMA available nationwide for the second year, all young people have the choice to stay on in further education and develop their talents so they can enjoy a successful and rewarding future. EMA helps ensure young people don’t have to finish their education for financial reasons,” he said