LAST week’s Government figures showed that job vacancies have hit a record high of 1.2 million, an increase of 20 per cent in the past three months.

It seems like a no-brainer that our young people should be able to train to fill these roles.

Many of the sectors continuing to battle with skills shortages, such as construction, manufacturing, and hospitality, are reliant on Level 2 vocational qualifications as a direct route into jobs in these industries.

Yet, the government has failed to prioritise these lower level, work-ready qualifications, instead focusing their post-16 policy and funding at qualifications of A Level standard and above.

The Government have a chance to close the skills gap and the disadvantage gap that is so significant among 16-19-year-olds, boost the economy and give young people the future they deserve.

But to do this, they must ensure a wide range of high-quality, employer-endorsed options are available at all levels.

Campbell Robb, chief executive, Nacro