Employers warn of ‘skills emergency’ and criticise standard of careers advice in schools

The BBC is reporting a CBI survey that suggests that more than half of employers fear they will not be able to recruit enough high-skilled workers and many are critical of the standards of careers advice in schools…

…The annual CBI/ Pearson Education and Skills survey, based on 310 firms employing 1.2 million people in the UK, showed that more than two-thirds of businesses are expected to need more high-skilled staff.

But more than half feared they would not be able to find enough staff with the required skills…

The survey also highlighted concerns about the need for better careers advice to help young people understand more about the jobs likely to be available.

More than three-quarters of firms are not satisfied with the careers advice for pupils in school, according to the survey.

“How can young people decide what type of work they want to do in the future – when the careers advice they receive is simply not up to scratch?”, said CBI director-general John Cridland…

The annual survey found almost a third of employers had arranged remedial classes to help recruits with basic skills.

More than a third of employers had found problems with the literacy and numeracy skills of school leavers. Almost half had concerns about a lack of communication skills.

There was also a demand from industry for better language skills…

More at: Employers warn of ‘skills emergency’


As well as the skills issue, it is interesting so see such a clear lack of endorsement for the state of careers advice in schools.

Any successful examples you have seen or been involved in where businesses work effectively with schools to help make it better?


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Categories: Employment.


  1. TW

    Wasn’t the 1988 Education Act, which caused most of these problems with its league tables and setting schools in competition with each other, supposed, in part  at least, to be the government giving employers what they said they wanted?

  2. CBI’s right about the dire state of careers advice in schools.
    However, the stats in the article on the number of employers giving remedial help to school/college leavers is  inaccurate.  The full report (page 35) says:
    22% provided remedial help in literacy/use of English;

    13% in IT skills
    19% in numeracy. 
    That’s not ‘more than a third’ in ‘basic skills’.

    We also need to know what form the ‘remedial’ help took.  In IT, for example, was it training in how to use the firm’s software?  If so, it might not be ‘remedial’.  Similarly in English, ‘remedial’ instruction might be training in the firm’s house style.

  3. @TW ‘What employers want’ is repeated every year.  But while preparing pupils for work is very important, it is only one part of preparing young people for their full adult lives.  We need a debate on the purposes of education.  http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2015/07/a-debate-on-the-purpose-of-education-is-long-overdue-will-school-ministers-speech-kick-start-discussion/

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