Teenagers 'need vocational routes'
At least 40% of teenagers should be required to do apprenticeship-style qualifications that lead directly to a job at the age of 16, a leading education expert has said.
Tim Oates, director of research at the Cambridge Assessment exam board, said the move would cut the youth unemployment rate and boost economic competitiveness.
He also recommended the Government should consider giving children more job-based tuition at the age of 14 or even as young as 11.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Oates said England risks being left behind other developed nations because it fails to offer students leaving secondary education the chance to go down a "rigorous vocational route".
"Some of the most successful economies have these (vocational) routes and people do make choices.
"Germany has a great vocational route at 16 (as has) Austria and Switzerland," said Mr Oates, who heads up an expert panel formed by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
His recommendations are likely to form part of a wide-ranging review of the National Curriculum to be published later this year.
Around 15% of pupils leaving secondary school at the age of 16 go on to apprenticeships, while 35-40% study for A-levels, according to The Telegraph.
The remainder go on to either other types of vocational courses, paid employment or unemployment.