HR Rebecca Smith · 11 November 2015
Businesses and schools “still worlds apart” when it comes to getting young people ready for the workplace
There is a clear gap between the skills students are being equipped with by secondary schools and those businesses want young people to have, the British Chambers of Commerce has said. In its Business and Education Survey 2015, speaking to over 3, 500 business and education leaders, the body said two thirds of firms feel secondary schools were not effective at preparing young people for work and could do more to help students get on the career ladder more easily. The BCC’s director general John Longworth said businesses and schools were ‘still worlds apart when it comes to getting young people ready for the world of work. Youth unemployment rates are still three times the overall unemployment rate and the BCC has called on action from ministers, schools and businesses alike, saying firms should work more with local schools to help plug skills gaps and ease the transition from school to the workplace. Three key areas were highlighted as important to work on in order to better bridge the gap between the worlds of education and work. (1) Embed key skills for work in the curriculum The top five entry level skills that firms value most were communication (88 per cent), literacy (69 per cent), numeracy (64 per cent), computer literacy (56 per cent) and teamwork (53 per cent). (2) Hold lessons around recruitment and interview techniques Most business people think schools should teach students how to conduct themselves in an interview (78 per cent), demonstrate transferable skills (54 per cent) and communicate lessons learned from work experience (46 per cent). (3) Put direct contact with local businesses at the heart of careers guidance Firms think careers advice should include workplace experience (64 per cent), encounters with employers and employees (62 per cent) and link curriculum learning to careers (45 per cent).
ABOUT THE EXPERTRebecca Smith
Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.