UK school leavers ‘the worst in Europe for essential skills’, report says

The Telegraph is reporting a new survey that suggests British school leavers are the worst in Europe for ‘essential skills’ needed to complete entry-level jobs in business…

Four in ten of firms polled in the UK felt that candidates for junior jobs lacked “functional skills, basic literacy and numeracy”, compared to 18 per cent of European firms.

The disparity is partly explained because firms in Europe spend more time than the UK in liaising with schools on the skills they need in the workplace, according to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), which carried out the survey.

Noel Tagoe, executive director of CIMA Education said: “In the UK the school and the work systems are divorced from each other and this leads to schools not providing the subjects companies need…”

The poll also showed that a lack of essential skills in new hires is affecting the performance of firms with a third of firms taking more than two months to fill junior roles and three quarters of UK school leavers requiring significant training…

More at: UK school leavers ‘the worst in Europe for essential skills’, report says


The suggestion here is that employers should be working more closely with schools to ensure young people are learning the types of skills needed in the workplace.

Do you think there is merit in such a suggestion and if so how could such an approach work in practice?

Or do you resent the idea that education should be led by the objectives of employers?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


Would you like to see employers have a greater input into what gets taught in schools?


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Categories: Employment and Policy.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Measure of UK schools being “the worst” at skilling up young people is opinion of employers who don’t train people. Hmmm…

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Very easy for people to sit in offices blaming schools (MPs make a living out of it). Mould new employees in own image maybe

  3. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove-Have worked in both sectors. Effective with employers do support education/ help schools keep up to date e.g CV presentation

  4. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove-Have worked in both sectors. Effective links with employers support education/ schools keep up to date e.g CV presentation

  5. TW

    The job of schools is to get students to pass exams for the greater glorification of Ofsted, league tables and dumb politicians.  Nothing to do with the jobs market.

  6. ruminantsheep

    AdrianOldfield employers moan because they don’t want to provide training which, importantly, is different to education.

  7. AdrianOldfield

    ruminantsheep Employers moan because they don’t often have the raw material to rain up! some Kids need work experience rather than GCSEs

  8. IftikharAhmad1

    Almost all children now believe they go to school to pass exams. The idea that
    they may be there for an education is irrelevant. State schools have become exam
    factories, interested only in A to C Grades. They do not educate children.  Exam
    results do not reflect a candidate’s innate ability. Employers have moaned for
    years that too many employees cannot read or write properly. According to a
    survey, school-leavers and even graduates lack basic literacy and numeracy
    skills. More and more companies are having to provide remedial training to new
    staff, who can’t write clear instructions, do simple maths, or solve problems.
    Both graduates and school-leavers were also criticised for their sloppy
    time-keeping, ignorance of basic customer service and lack of self-discipline.

Let us know what you think...