Business plan to prepare students for workplace

Julian Harris
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A LEADING business group will today demand a transformation of the UK’s education system, arguing that young people are leaving school unequipped to succeed in the workplace.

The government must use the tax system to encourage apprenticeships and the learning of foreign languages, a move which could boost exports according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Students should also have regular contact with employers, the BCC believes, as part of a new programme of so-called careers education. The measures are part of a wider proposal, named the skills and employment manifesto.

“Although we believe that successive governments have failed our young people by not properly equipping them for their future careers, it is time to break away from the blame game,” says BCC president Nora Senior.

“Government, schools, colleges and employers must all work together in the coming months and years to ensure that the UK has a workforce that is ‘fit for purpose’. Failure to do so risks consigning generation after generation to a less prosperous future.”
Universities should work with Chambers of Commerce across the country to help ensure that higher education courses are relevant to future job opportunities, it says.

Such a policy could also encourage enterprise among a wider range of students.

The lobby group is also calling on the government to ensure that qualifications for core skills such as literacy, numeracy, computing and languages are clear and easily understood. The assessment of schools should also be based on employability skills, it will argue.