Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw told the House of Lords Social Mobility Committee today that government should do more on promoting vocational routes.

He appeared in front of the committee flanked by his chief operating officer, Matthew Coffey (pictured below right), to give evidence on the role of the education watchdog in providing skills and employment opportunities for under-served groups of young people.

“We need to say a lot more about apprenticeships … perhaps government should say a lot more about what it is going to do to promote a strong vocational offer in schools and post-16, it’s not just up to Ofsted to say we’re going to do this,” said Sir Michael.

He added the fact that only 5 per cent of young people were going into apprenticeships, and only 3 per cent from disadvantaged backgrounds, was “a nonsense” that must be addressed.

He also called on head teachers to make sure their students understood the opportunities outside the school and criticised some for encouraging learners to stay on into sixth form when other pathways might be better.

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