From education to employment

How can we support learners to develop essential work place skills?

Recent research by the Chartered Institute for Management Accounts (CIMA) found that eight out of 10 school leavers ‘lack essential business skills’ and that this ‘increases staff stress and causes a fall in business performance’.

On the release of this research, Noel Tagoe, executive director of education at CIMA, said “it is clear the education system is failing young people and failing business. Children spend at least 14 years being schooled, and that provides ample opportunity to equip them with the skills on which to base a career”.

“Over the years various governments have been keen to champion new ideas in education. My concern is that in the long-term the frequency of these changes appear not to be strengthening students’ grasp of the basics”, he adds.

This view is not surprising, particularly given the similar message found in the 2016 CBI Skills Survey and recent Ofsted focus on employability.  It also echoes the conversations that we are having with educators across the country, who tell us that a combination of staffing pressures and funding cuts is affecting their ability to offer effective employability provision.

Beyond this, there is overwhelming evidence that effective employability skills programmes are vital to young people’s future success. Research recent suggests that learners who participate in such programmes:

So, given its obvious importance, how can we support young people to develop the skills they need to survive and thrive in the workplace?

Our suggestion is clear – every college should implement a simple framework to structure the employability provision:

  • Strategy: What is your plan for employability?
  • Partners: Which people and organisations will support your programmes?
  • Activity: What in-class and extra-curricular will your students participate in to develop work skills?
  • Work experience: How will you create opportunities for students to attend work placements, job shadowing and insight days?
  • Evaluation: How will you measure and report on the impact of your provision?

This ‘Framework to Outstanding Employability Provision’ has been tried and tested in schools and colleges across the country, and has been found to be a simple and effective way to structure provision. The framework has been designed to provide a clear path to audit, develop and maintain an outstanding employability programme.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can introduce this framework in your college drop us a line to organise a chat. We’d welcome a chance to continue the conversation and have some great tools to support you – including engaging learning platforms, online audits and high-impact training for staff.

Chris Rowe, Director, Navigation Learning[email protected]

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