The world of work is rapidly changing, with globalisation and technological advancements altering the way we work and attributes we’ll need to navigate the workplace of the future. This means school, society and business need to work together to make sure our education system can keep up.
While 45% of businesses rank work readiness as the most important factor they look for when recruiting, 44% of employers feel that young people leaving school, college or university are not ‘work ready’. These findings are echoed by young people themselves, with almost one in four telling us they do not feeling adequately prepared by their education for the world of work.
Using the findings from the CBI/Pearson Education and Skills survey, alongside feedback from member-led steering groups, the CBI has identified three pillars employers told us were essential in preparing young people for the modern world:
- Character – which enables young people to flourish at all stages of their lives
- Knowledge – young people should have access to a rigorous, rich, and stretching curriculum
- Skills – young people should have the chance to apply their knowledge and character in real-life scenarios.
Employers also told us they were concerned about curriculum narrowing and the decline in pupils taking creative subjects like design and technology, music and art.
Members can download the report here.
In order to better equip young people for the world of work, the CBI are calling on the government to:
- Rethink qualifications, including the role of GCSEs
- Broaden the EBacc to include a creative subject
- Work with the education sector and business to develop a framework and shared approach for essential attributes to sit alongside the Gatsby Benchmarks
- Integrate its new Youth Charter with the existing Careers Strategy.
Of course, members also recognise that business has a key role to play in getting young people work ready. Indeed, 72% of employers are currently engaged with schools and colleges, but many stand ready to do more. To support this, the CBI will be launching a digital employer toolkit next year with the aim of increasing and diversifying business engagement with schools, colleges and universities.