From education to employment

Lack of readiness to be employed is Work Programme’s biggest obstacle, says survey

A lack of readiness for the world of work is the biggest obstacle preventing employers from taking on the long-term unemployed via the Work Programme, according to a new survey.

The research, commissioned by training provider Alderwood Education, surveyed nearly 400 specialists working within the employability and skills sectors. It found 45 per cent of them considered work readiness to be the highest concern, ahead of a lack of required skills or insufficient job opportunities in general.

Only four per cent of the employability specialists questioned believed employers rated education highly when it came to recruiting, and just 20.8 per cent considered literacy and numeracy as one of the key concerns of employers. Instead, some 70 per cent of respondents thought employers consider relevant skills for the job to be the most important quality in a candidate, followed by relevant work experience at 47.5 per cent, and readiness for work at 39.1 per cent.

Alderwood Education director Anton Roe said:

“This research clearly points to the fact that there is an ever increasing gap between employer needs and what the huge pool of unemployed people currently has to offer. In order to get people back into work, this skills gap needs to be addressed. More must be done to provide our potential workforce with the tools they need for employment.”

Lord Knight, former Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform, said:

“It’s clear that the coalition needs to revise its strategy for getting Britain back into work. We need to ensure that skills development is at the top of the agenda for both the government and businesses across the UK.”

The research surveyed skills or employability staff ranging from delivery, predominantly Apprenticeship Assessors and Personal Advisors, to director and above.

Natalie Thornhill

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