I wanted to take the opportunity today to pass on my congratulations to everyone receiving their results today, which are the culmination of two years of dedication and hard work. The Government wants everyone, regardless of background, to be able to fulfil their potential and for many, A-levels are the pathway to a university degree.
While university may not be the appropriate route for everyone, the proportion of young people on their way to higher education, taking that big step to move away from home to study, is at a record high. At the end of June this year, almost 650,000 people had already applied to a UK higher education course, among them a record proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
With our industrial strategy putting science, research and innovation at its very heart and with employers hungry for highly-skilled and capable graduates, it is a great time to be enrolling at our world-leading institutions.
However, if university isn’t for you, the Government has invested heavily in apprenticeships. Meaning that there are now more routes available to you to make a success of your career if you choose not to go to university. Recent reforms passed by Parliament are designed to drive long needed improvements in the sector and to ensure that all people, irrespective of their background, have an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential.
I have seen the results of that investment right here in Norwich. Local businesses in our city really value the contributions apprentices and graduate hires have made to their businesses. With the right investment and support given to this year’s A-Level recipients, they will have an even greater chance of doing well in life and realising their aspirations. Well done once again and enjoy the celebrations!