From education to employment

93% of businesses think work experience should be compulsory in schools

An overwhelming majority of senior business professionals agree that work experience should be compulsory in schools, according to a new survey commissioned by Arch Apprentices.

9 out of 10 surveyed said they believed work experience should be made compulsory with 68% saying it had potential to prepare young people for employment, and 57% saying it would help to instill a strong work ethic in the next generation.  

When asked why they struggled to hire young people, 43% of business leaders said it was because job candidates lacked enthusiasm while a similar number (39%) said it was because most applicants had little or no work experience.

The study also asked parents of children aged 14-18 about their experiences with careers guidance at their child’s secondary school.

40% said that their child’s school didn’t offer work experience, whilst half reported that their schools didn’t provide information about apprenticeship schemes. Remarkably, a quarter said that their child’s school simply did not provide any careers advice at all.

Nearly half (48%) of parents surveyed feel they are ill-equipped when it comes to advising their kids on how to take their first steps into ever-evolving lines of work. The same number agree that work experience should be compulsory for their children, with 36% believing schools should be doing more to educate parents about the different types of jobs available.

UK schools haven’t had to offer compulsory work experience placements since 2012 when the coalition government scrapped the idea. Today, Arch Apprentices are calling on the current government to reinstate meaningful work experience for all children as well as provide up to date advice and guidance about future career options.

The digital apprenticeship leader believes that part of the reason for the 61% drop in apprenticeship take-up since the government introduced the apprenticeship levy is partly due to this lack of work experience and modern careers support in schools. 

The call comes on the same day as The Careers Education and Guidance Summit takes place in London. Leaders of the apprenticeship and careers guidance worlds will meet to discuss current government policy and engage with policy makers, OFSTED and schools themselves – featuring speakers such as The Rt. Hon Anne Milton MP, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills.

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