From education to employment

AoC commissioned survey finds support for training and need for independent guidance.

An ICM Training Opportunities survey has revealed that half of the 1200 workers questioned believe their colleagues need more training to do their jobs properly; but less than a third thought they personally need more training.

The new survey, conducted for the Association of Colleges (AoC) has been issued to mark the association’s 2007 Annual Conference.

The results showed that 55% of people questioned said they would choose a different course of study at school or college if they had another chance; out of these 61 % were educated to Secondary/ High school level, while 41% held a Higher University Degree/ Doctorate. The survey also revealed that 64% of respondents thought the Government should encourage employers to create an annual training programme for their staff. 57% of workers questioned said they would utilise independent career advice and guidance if made available ““ 74% of these people were aged between 18 and 24, indicating that those who have recently completed their education had not received adequate guidance regarding their future career options whilst studying.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Sue Dutton, AoC Acting Chief Executive stated: “These fascinating findings indicate that the appetite for training among the British workforce runs in tandem with real regret at missed opportunities.

“While employers and colleges can do more to respond to individual’s needs, an impartial and effective careers service is needed to make sure more people make the right training choices first time around.

“The Government’s aim to raise the age of those in education and training to 18 gives MPs a good opportunity to take another look at careers guidance. Giving a young person an unbiased overview of all the options open to them, from 12 onwards, will help them find the right path of study and persuade them that an extended learning age is about widened choice and opportunity and not incarceration. In practical terms it’s also an opportunity to talk students through incentives like the Education Maintenance Allowance and, for 16-year-olds who qualify for an EMA, give information on the amount of financial support they will receive if they choose to go on into higher education.”

The Association of Colleges Annual Conference takes place at the ICC in Birmingham between 20 – 22 November 2007.

Speakers at the conference include Sir Bob Geldof, Skills Minister John Denham, TV presenter and University Chancellor Floella Benjamin and Olympic Gold medallist Marlon Devonish.

Saika Ahmed

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