Businesses and schools ‘still worlds apart’ on readiness for work, says BCC

Government ministers, schools and local business should help young people make a successful transition from education to employment, urged the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

A study conducted by the accredited Chambers of Commerce, found that businesses and schools were “worlds apart” when it came to getting students on the career ladder and equipped with the vital skills. 

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John Longworth, BCC Director General, blasted the current skills gap as a national embarrassment. The results published today just hours before the latest national employment figures were released . 

Unless ministers allow schools to increase their focus on preparing students for the working world and businesses step up and do more to engage, inform and inspire, we could fail an entire generation of young people. 

“It doesn’t need to be like this. Preparing students to face potential employers should be given the same level of priority as academic achievement in schools across the UK.” 

The survey based on over 3,500 business and education leaders, suggested three key actions needed to bridge the gap between the worlds of education and work. These were embed vital key skills for work, such as communication and team work, numeracy and literacy in the curriculum. Run classes teaching recruitment and interview techniques and also linking local businesses with students for careers guidance.

Kirstie Donnelly MBE – Managing Director, City & Guilds: “We agree with the BCC’s suggestions that workplace skills must be embedded in learning and think that the most effective way to do this is for the business and education sectors to work together more closely to create curriculums that are designed with the workplace in mind. Much like the City & Guilds TechBac.

“We believe that Government must work together with schools, colleges and businesses to ensure the education system is better able to facilitate these all important employer interactions. 

“As the comprehensive spending review edges closer I’d urge the Government to consider the relative success highlighted in today’s report of the FE sector in preparing young people for work. A vital role if we are to improve their future job prospects.”


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