From education to employment

Economy hinges on practical skills investment, say businesses

Only 16 per cent of businesses believe the UK is offering its young people the right mix of academic knowledge and practical skills, says education giant Pearson.

According to research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the world’s largest learning company, 87 per cent of large businesses believe Britain’s future economic growth depends on its investment in practical skills. A further 81 per cent claim young people would benefit from being taught academic and vocational courses alongside one another.

Rod Bristow, president of Pearson UK, said: “The message from businesses is crystal clear that our economic recovery depends on practical skills. It is essential that young people have the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge they need to progress on to great jobs, both to secure the growth of the economy and their own future prospects.

“As the Government focusses on private sector growth and considers the Wolf Report, the message from businesses is simple: don’t undervalue vocational education, don’t downgrade it, don’t sideline it.

“Business leaders want government to listen to the needs of industry and the UK’s economy first when assessing the role of practical learning in our schools.”

Susannah Fairbairn

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