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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Calls for employers to play a bigger role in learning

School teachers and parents are calling for UK employers to increase their involvement in learning by playing a greater role in young people's lives.

That was a key finding in an independent report released by the Association of Colleges to mark Colleges Week 2012, which runs from 11- to 18 November 2012.

The research finds that a staggering 93 per cent of school teachers and 94 per cent of parents want their pupils/child to have more access to employers and businesses during education. An additional 82 per cent of parents believe that work experience is essential in helping young people develop the skills needed in the workplace.

A mismatch was also found in what parents and school teachers believe employers want from young recruits. Both parents and teachers ranked work and life experience low on a list of attributes they believe most important to employers recruiting from education. However, according to data from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, this attribute actually tops the list of qualities employers feel is most lacking in young recruits. 

Joy Mercer, Association of Colleges director of policy, said: "Whether it's providing more work-experience placements, getting involved in the shaping of the curriculum or just having more presence in the classroom, employers should be working hand in hand with educators to better prepare young people for employment and improve their job prospects."

One of the main reasons behind the call for greater involvement from employers in advising young people is that both school teachers and parents admit to struggling to provide careers advice. The study found that a fifth of parents feel out of their depth advising their children about careers, and 32 per cent say they only feel comfortable talking about jobs with which they are familiar. Worryingly, some parents readily admit their offspring are ill-prepared for work, with 11 per cent confessing they wouldn't even employ their own child.

Valerie Todd, director of talent and resources at Crossrail and commissioner at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, said: "Businesses which want a highly skilled workforce for the future must take a conscious decision to help young people make the move from education into work.  Most companies can do at least one thing in their community to support this transition - offering apprenticeships, hosting some form of work experience or visiting schools to give talks."

View the original article here

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