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Employers have serious concerns about the basic skills of school and college leavers and many have had to use remedial training as a result, according to a survey from the CBI.
The business body’s Education & Skills survey of 566 employers, conducted in partnership with EDI, found that 42 per cent are not satisfied with the basic use of English by school and college leavers, while more than a third (35 per cent) are concerned with the basic numeracy skills in this age group. To address these weaknesses, 44 per cent of employers have had to invest in remedial training for school and college leavers.
Companies also found school and college leavers lacking in important employability skills, with 69 per cent saying they have inadequate business and customer awareness, and over half (55 per cent) experiencing weaknesses in school leavers’ self-management skills. Two thirds (70 per cent) want to see these made a top priority at school and college.
John Cridland, CBI director-general, said: “It’s alarming that a significant number of employers have concerns about the basic skills of school and college leavers. Companies do not expect them to produce ‘job-ready’ young people, but having a solid foundation in basic skills, such as literacy and numeracy, is fundamental for work.
“Students need better careers advice early on, so they can make informed decisions about what subjects they choose, knowing what types of jobs they could lead to.”
Nigel Snook, EDI chief executive, said: “Businesses know they need to play their part in investing in skills as the economy begins to recover to drive sustainable long-term growth. As a result more employers plan to increase their staff training programmes over the next year.
“Because the basic skills levels of school and college leavers are often insufficient, many employers have to redirect their resources to provide remedial training to get these areas up-to-scratch.
“If school leavers do not have a sound base in English and Maths, then employers will find training staff in more advanced skills increasingly difficult.”
Other findings from the wide-ranging survey included that 80 per cent of employers have links with universities as part of their training efforts. Moreover, the research showed that 43 per cent of employers have difficulty recruiting staff with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, and to remedy this, 31 per cent of employers in the field are now offering STEM-related work experience.
I do agree somewhat with the report. There should be so called business studies to provide leavers with basic skills in business, and apart from that they can have summer training at any company to implement the real part......