British Chambers of Commerce wants a return to compulsory work experience for under-16s

Chris Papadopoullos
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Firms said work experience schemes were more important than previous part-time work and volunteering (Source: Getty)

A body that represents nearly 100,000 UK businesses has called for work experience for under-16s to be made mandatory.

Survey results published today by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) show 82 per cent of business bosses and 73 per cent of education leaders believe pupils should be offered work experience.

“Business and school leaders are clear: we won’t bridge the gap between the world of education and the world of work unless young people spend time in workplaces while still at school,” said BCC director general John Longworth.

“It was careless of Government to end compulsory work experience in 2012, but it is not too late to correct the mistake.”

Work experience was seen by employers as a more important contributor to workplace skills than paid part-time work and volunteering, the survey found.

The BCC also found 12 per cent of large firms offer no work experience placements at all compared with 29 per cent of small firms.

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