Employers 'Want Better Education System'

Businesses Are Calling On The Education System To Improve


Fergal Dowling, Partner | +44 (0)121 214 5476

Business leaders in the UK are calling on the education system to evolve in order to meet the needs of the world of work.

A Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Pearson Education and Skills joint survey of 291 companies that employ a combined 1.5 million people, found that 61 per cent are concerned about the resilience and self-management of school leavers.

On top of this, 33 per cent questioned the willingness to work among people leaving the education system.
However, there was some good news for school leavers, as 96 per cent are happy with the computer and IT skills of young people when they enter the workplace for the first time, mainly due to the proliferation of the internet in this age group.

Companies are now calling on the education system to change tack and focus more on developing the literacy and numeracy skills of younger people, with around one in three not satisfied about these traits among school leavers.

But despite some optimism in certain areas of education, business leaders believe that the skill gap is widening, something they believe could lead the UK with a shortage of talent in the coming years.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: "Businesses feel very strongly that the education system must better prepare young people for life outside the school gates, or risk wasting their talents.

"The journey from school towards the world of work can be daunting, so we must support schools and teachers to help develop the skills, character and attitudes students need to progress in life."

In an attempt to resolve this issue, many companies are offering internships and placements to educate future employees about the world of work.

Around half of companies surveyed offered some form of paid internship, while a further 69 per cent plan to expand these schemes at some point in the near future - although it is not clear how many of these new roles would include a salary.

Expert Opinion
Younger talent can provide a massive contribution in business terms, often bringing fresh ideas and ambition to the table which helps organisations to push on.

"As a result, it is important that as much as possible is done to nurture that talent and ensure young people are fully prepared to enter the world of work and understand the key issues which will help them to succeed.

"Improving the level of education that is available is key to this and should hopefully ensure younger talent and entrepreneurs are given the necessary tools and skills to embrace a life in business. It is important that young people also recognise the importance of quality support, including help from legal advisers who can ensure they are aware of and understand a range of key compliance issues."
Fergal Dowling, Partner