School Leavers Lack Skills Needed For Workplace: New research has suggested that UK business leaders are unimpressed by the quality of school leavers – with a third disappointed with their attitude and more than half (52%) saying that they lack the communication skills required.
The research, published in the Confederation of British Industry’s seventh annual skills survey, found that almost two fifths of firms (38%) voiced concern of the quality of school leavers’ numeracy skills, with half also stating that their problem solving abilities were not good enough.
Around 60% of the businesses questioned stated that they felt the skills gap was actually increasing – and that they feared being unable to recruit the number of skilled staff needed for the future. More than a quarter (28%) of businesses looking to recruit school leavers with STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) are already stating that they are struggling to meet their needs, with a further third (35%) saying they foresee problems doing so in the next three years.
Business leaders have called for schools to better prepare young people for the world of work as a result – although positively, the vast majority (96%) stated that they were satisfied with young people’s IT skills.
This piece of research was conducted with 291 companies which collectively employed around 1.5million people. Of these, three fifths (61%) said that they were concerned about the lack of resilience found in young people, and their lack of self-management ability. The businesses surveyed also called for primary schools to place a higher focus on literacy and numeracy – with more than four fifths (85%) suggesting this as a good course of action. More than half of the firms interviewed also called schools to develop a greater awareness of working life among teenagers – with 52% of them seeing this as important.
Two thirds of companies said that they would be willing to take on a larger role in the school curriculum. In addition, four fifths stated that careers advice simply was not of a sufficient standard – many argued that there was an assumption that academic careers were out forward as the best route, when in fact vocational careers can be a viable and rewarding career.
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