With close to half of all employers (44%) finding young people leaving school, college or university are not ready for the world of work, businesses want character and broader skills, from team leadership to problem solving, to be embedded in the educational curriculum to a much greater extent.
47% of teachers felt that there were fewer opportunities to develop employability skills and competencies due to changes in GCSEs and A-Levels, citing a new focus on rote learning as a detriment to developing the skills and attitudes needed for work.
In this new CBI report - Getting young people ‘work ready’, employers identify three broad areas that are essential for the world of work – character, knowledge, and skills.
To address this, the government, supported by a greater contribution from employers, should:
- Rethink the role and form of GCSEs in an education and training system that goes to 18, rather than 16
- Reform the English Baccalaureate to ensure it fully encompasses a ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum, especially when it comes to creativity
- Develop a shared understanding of what ‘character’ really means with educators, government and employers - starting with the SkillsBuilder framework
- Better coordinate the support available to young people from government, employers and educators - including the joining up of the Careers Strategy and Youth Charter.
John Cope, CBI Head of Education & Skills, said:
“Whether it’s globalisation, longer and more diverse careers or rapid technological change - employers, government and educators must work better together to prepare young people for the modern world.
“Too often, young people are left feeling unprepared for work and employers feel the same when those starting out join their companies. Young people have knowledge and potential in abundance, but the rounded character, real world experience and creativity needed to apply knowledge is sometimes lacking.
“Ensuring young people are prepared for the modern world is not the education system’s responsibility alone. To help our education system keep up with a rapidly changing world, it’s vital we help the two-thirds of employers who want to get more involved in education to do so. Whether it’s helping deliver parts of the curriculum, offering work experience and careers advice, or getting involved as a governor or trustee, employers have an immense contribution to make.”