A study by http://totaljobs.com and the IPPR reveals a lack of skills amongst newly qualified people has left one in seven employers unable to fill their positions. The lack of skills even transcends to basics such as literacy and numeracy, a worrying thought considering their importance in an everyday working environment.
James Frearson of totaljobs.com, said: “This report shows a serious mis-match between the skills held by entry-level candidates and those demanded by employers. As employers expect to increase their recruitment of entry-level candidates in the next five years, this issue would need to be addressed by the government and employers as priority.
“There are a number of things employers can do to help entry-level candidates prepare for the world of work, such as providing more opportunities for candidates to learn about what is expected of them in the workplace.
“Paid work experience placements to those still in education, and more investment in on-the-job training and apprenticeships are a great place to start. Recruiters can also help by simplifying their application processes, with a clear selection criteria and constructive feedback for unsuccessful candidates.”
With the previous government aiming for 50% of the population to have participated in higher education, it is incredible to think that people now entering the job market do so with a lack of basic employability skills. Education is the political football of choice, with governments competing over the way the educational system in this country is run, as a matter of course. With such emphasis on education, how can we have a situation where people are entering the workplace without basic literacy and numeracy skills?
The job of education is to prepare our young people to play a contributory and responsible role in society. Leaving education without the skills required to fulfil this role is sacrilege, and should be looked upon as a failure of the system. Focussing on transferable skill acquisition should be the mainstay of education. Young people should exit the system knowing exactly what is required to succeed in the workplace. Too often, the focus on the achievement of grades is to the detriment of this wider skill base. Our job should be to remove emphasis from the grade culture, and to place it upon creating rounded individuals who can contribute to the economy in a meaningful way.