GIRLS were more likely to be in stable work within a year of leaving school in Bracknell rather than boys, new figures reveal.

Youth Employment UK, which works to reduce youth unemployment, says young men and women are given different career advice throughout their education, with female students hearing more about academic routes.

Department for Education statistics show that 89 per cent of female students who finished their 16 to 18 study in 2016-17 were in education, employment or an apprenticeship the following year, compared to 81 per cent of male school leavers.

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The figures cover pupils from state-funded mainstream schools and colleges, and only those in continuous study, work or training for at least six months were included in one of the categories.

In Bracknell Forest, 36 per cent of both girls and boys opted for continuing their education, including university, further education college, and other courses – across England, the option was more common among female school leavers.

The figures also show 42 per cent of girls went into work, compared to 29 per cent of boys.

And 17 per cent of boys opted for an apprenticeship, while 12 per cent of girls chose this kind of training.

The picture was similar across England, where the figure for those in education, employment or training stood at 84 per cent for girls, and 79 per cent for boys.

Laura-Jane Rawlings, chief executive of Youth Employment UK, said the group’s Youth Voice Census – a survey of more than 3,000 young people – showed a disparity in the career advice given to male and female students at school.

She added: “It is important to give young people a voice on the issues that affect them, and ensure that we are tailoring policy, services and programmes based on their insights and experiences.”

Overall, 10 per cent of students in Bracknell Forest were not in sustained education, employment or an apprenticeship within a year of leaving school, although no activity was recorded for a further 5 per cent.

The rate was lower than that across England, where 13 per cent of students – around one in eight – were not in education, employment or training.

The activity of 6 per cent of students was not captured in the data.

Julie McCulloch, director of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It is of huge concern that one in eight 18-year-olds appear to drift into a netherworld of insecurity and aimlessness after 14 years of education.

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“There will be many differing situations behind the statistics, but there is no disguising the fact that too many young people are slipping through the cracks.”

She added that schools and colleges are not getting enough government funding to support young people.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said the statistics do not show “a complete picture”, as private students, those who studied abroad or people working in short-term jobs are not included.

She added: “Young people aged 16 to 18 are participating in education and training at their highest rate since consistent records began, and the overall proportion of 16 to 24 year olds not in education, employment or training has fallen since 2010.”