The continuing debate around the provision of accurate careers advice shows the clear mismatch between education leaders and employers when it comes to informing young people about work.

Much of the frustration and criticism from employers has been directed at schools.  However the results of the British Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Education Survey paint a concerning picture for those of us in the skills sector.

At WorldSkills UK we work with colleges, training providers and employers so we understand that providing efficient careers advice isn’t as simple as a one size fits all, it’s far more complex.  Young people need an understanding of how the skills they are currently learning are transferable between different jobs.  They also need opportunities included in their training and study programmes which allow them to develop the employability skills that businesses are looking for. 

Discussions around the employability of young people often focus on numeracy and literacy levels. There is no doubt these are important.  However in the survey by the British Chamber of Commerce, in which employers called for key skills for work to be embedded in the curriculum, it was confirmed that employers value communication skills (88%) as the most important skill.  This highlights the crucial need for young people to be given the opportunity to develop the wider skills that businesses are looking for.            

Our research shows that WorldSkills UK Competitions can help prepare young people for work by enabling them to develop the key attributes and skills that employers value so highly including effective communication skills, team work, time management, and the ability to work under pressure.  Over 80% of our competitors stated that they felt competing had increased their confidence in all of these key areas.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Visit The Skills Show in November and you can watch the UK’s top apprentices and learners demonstrate all of these skills alongside their technical knowledge in the National Finals of the WorldSkills UK Competitions.  As the competitors battle it out for a Gold Medal in their chosen skill, our Skills Champions will be available to talk to you and your students about how their participation in competitions has accelerated their careers.

Furthermore, competition activity is recognised by OFSTED as a factor in raising standards in teaching delivery and outcomes for students.  If the new strategies for international growth set out by Government are to be realised we need to ensure that all training for young people reflects world-class standards.

In addition to careers advice, young people need to feel confident in presenting themselves to employers in job interviews.  This is supported by findings from the British Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Education Survey which revealed that 78% of businesses felt that young people should be taught how to conduct themselves in interviews.  During The Skills Show your students can receive free one-to-one guidance from careers advisors on interview techniques, CV writing and applying for jobs.  They can also meet with employers from all over the UK to learn more about what they are looking for in candidates. 

High quality independent careers advice needs to be delivered in partnership between colleges, training providers and employers, at WorldSkills UK we can help you achieve this.  

Don’t miss out, book now for The Skills Show which takes place from 17 to 19 November at the NEC Birmingham.

Ben Blackledge, Director of Education and Competitions, WorldSkills UK 

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

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We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

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Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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