From education to employment

Failure to achieve minimum standards at GCSE means lower pay and prospects

15% of employers would snub an applicant who falls short of attaining 5 A*-C grades at GCSE, new research from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has revealed.

Furthermore, applicants who fail to achieve this minimum can expect lower wages and limited job prospects for the future. From the LSC survey, three quarters of employers admit that they would hire an applicant who did not receive what is now regarded as standard attainment. But of this group, only half would offer the lower pay bracket.

Julia Dowd, Director of Young People’s Learning at the LSC, said: “The vast majority of employers we questioned said they would urge school-leavers to continue in education or training and think about the wide choice available at college or on a work based learning programme”.

In a statement released this morning, she continued: “This research really hits home the fact that employment opportunities open to young people are massively enhanced by staying in education and training. By not dropping out, young people significantly improve their job prospects and earning potential”.

The research indicates that employers were, on average, more likely to pay an employee up to £1,700 more in their starting salary if they satisfied the minimum achievements at GCSE. This enforces official statistics which suggest that over the course of an employee’s working life, those with qualifications can expect to earn nearly £4000 more a year, compared to someone without.

And the lack of good grades reflects poorly on applicants” work ethic and attitude, as nearly eight in ten employers believe that these candidates would struggle in their company and would lack the commitment evident in more highly qualified employees.

“If young people who have just finished year 11 are considering taking a job just to earn money, they must remember learning is free and that the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is available to many”, she continued. “I strongly urge all young people to find out if they are eligible for EMA to support them in all of the possible ways of learning”.

“It is clear from our research that the long term financial benefits of remaining in education and training, make not dropping out much more attractive”.

Vijay Pattni.

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