Students Ill-equipped for Business Despite Record Results
Poor basic skills are leaving young people ill-equipped for work despite record exam results, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has warned.
Even though this year’s A-level and GCSE results show record grades, the IoD has cautioned that high pass rates do not equate to more capable young people entering the workplace.
“A lack of skills is holding back business growth and impeding organisations’ ability to capitalise on economic recovery,”
said the IoD’s director-general, Miles Templeman. He added;
“The fact that we have a system where we can expect little more than half the pupils to achieve the benchmark of five good GCSEs, including English and maths, is a fundamental problem.”
The IoD has highlighted poor literacy and numeracy among people leaving education as major threats to business growth in the UK. Later in the year, it will release research revealing the extent to which UK businesses are struggling to find employees with good basic skills.
“There’s very strong evidence from our members that they are not finding people with the right skills, in spite of the surplus of labour in the market,”
said IoD spokesman, Alistair Tebbit.
“Rather than bring people in, they are delegating more work to people already in the organisation. There’s been a heavy emphasis from the last two governments on apprenticeships, but they have to be business-led &ndash apprenticeships doesn’t necessarily mean the right skills are available.”
The IoD has called for improved careers advice, a greater emphasis on vocational qualifications instead of university degrees and an extension of the Government’s internship initiative to schools leavers.
A Department for Education spokesman responded:
“It’s the Government’s job to make sure young people have opportunities for further study and work, and that there is confidence in our qualifications system.”
“Getting universities, academic bodies and employers more involved in the development of academic and vocational qualifications is important if we are to continue to maintain that confidence.”
Tebbit said the IoD supported the Government’s plan to create more academies, but warned that literacy and numeracy problems needed to be tackled at primary, as well as secondary, level.