Solution to student skills gaps lies with UK organisations, according to a&dc
a&dc believes that UK businesses must begin to engage with students of 14 or even younger in order to be able to address what many companies see as a perceived skills gaps of school leavers. a&dc who are assessment and development specialists has sent out a message to organisations to encourage them to engage with the nations education departments. They also say that business needs to interact with students not when they leave college or university but at a much younger age in order to deal with what they see as deep concerns surrounding the skills of school leavers.
This comes in light of the annual Education and Skills Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Pearson which found that over half (61%) of employers have concerns about how prepared school leavers are to start work. The report also revealed that employers want improved development to start at a young age, with 85% urging primary schools to improve the basic literacy and numeracy skills, after reporting that these were unsatisfactory among school leavers.
According to Pip Clarke, Business Development Director at a&dc, organisations must stop focusing on the 14 – 19 year old age range and engage with pupils earlier on in their education:
“It’s encouraging to note that a number of organisations (66%) are willing to take on a greater role in school careers guidance. However, as was clearly outlined by the research, engagement needs to take place much earlier than it currently is. Engaging with students when they are mapping out their career is, in essence, too late as many will have passed the point where some of the basic skills are taught. Instead there needs to be communication well before pupils are considering their future options to ensure they recognise the importance of studying certain subjects such as maths and science. Indeed, this could even aid the on-going STEM skills shortages in the future.”