In a recent YouGov poll, just over two-thirds of employers admitted to saying that school and college leavers lack the necessary practical skills valued by industry.
Coming on the back of yesterday’s Confederation of British Industry (CBI) statement regarding the literacy and numeracy capacities of today’s teenagers, educational foundation Edge conducted its own survey earlier this year carried out by YouGov. The study also found 76% of adults believe that too much emphasis is placed on academic learning.
Edge Chairman Garry Hawkes commented: “I”m pleased that the CBI is putting its weight behind ensuring a workforce that is suited to the workplace. Whilst we applaud those who are suited to academic achievement, we also recognise that many of our greatest business leaders are those who did not achieve academically but developed practical skills through hands-on experience”.
In a poll conducted earlier this year and sourcing the views of 8,300 people across the country including young people and adults, the research also found that 70% of employers believe that practical experience and skills are “crucial” to the recruitment decision-making process.
Furthermore, 80% of secondary school teachers and further educational respondents support the notion that there is a great demand for more work experience, work placements and practical project work while at school, college and university. In addition, over half of the young people between the ages of 15-23 who were surveyed believe that practical learning achievements should be recognised by formal qualifications.
Edge’s modus operandi involves promoting the status of vocational and practical hands-on learning, focusing prominently on skills rather than academics. Their projects include the sponsoring of two city academies in Nottingham and Milton Keynes, and an employer-award scheme offering money from a £300,000 fund.
Mr Hawkes added: “We want our education system to support this route to success, as well as the academic route.”
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