Last updated: 18.07.14

Skills development 'essential for school leavers'

Young people up and down the country need to be given the necessary skills to help them to excel in the world of work as soon as they leave school.
This is according to the findings of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)/Pearson Education and Skills survey 2014, which surveyed more than 1.5 million business professionals over recent months and found the majority (61 per cent) harbour serious concerns regarding the ability of school leavers to self-manage and be resilient to the stresses of professional life.
Furthermore, over half (52 per cent) of respondents have urged schools to help young people aged from 14 to 19 years old to develop a better awareness of what it is like to work.
John Cridland, CBI director-general, commented: "Businesses feel very strongly that the education system must better prepare young people for life outside the school gates, or risk wasting their talents."
It is a stance echoed by former minister for skills and enterprise Matthew Hancock, who earlier this month attended the Future Talent conference in London and argued businesses up and down the country need to be prepared to help bridge the gap between school and work for young people.
He told attendees: "In order to ensure that young people leave education or training equipped with the skills employers want, we need to build closer links between the world of work and education."
At present, almost half (44 per cent) of companies operate specific training programmes to improve essential skills including literacy, numeracy and IT for adult employees, but now needs to be done to build the strong links between business and education that will make schemes such as this a thing of the past.
It is perhaps a development that is not too far away though, as 66 per cent of respondents to the CBI/Pearson report stated their business is willing to take on a larger role in improving the school careers system.