Lack of business confidence in the exam system

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A survey of firms in Greater Manchester and Cheshire has shown many business owners still believe schools and colleges are not doing enough to equip leavers with the necessary skills.

The survey asked whether education providers equipped pupils with the necessary workplace skills. Just 4% indicated ‘yes’, 61% ‘no’, while 35% described it as ‘hit and miss’.

Simon Edmondson, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "“It’s a pretty disappointing assessment of the education system, and quite frankly demonstrates a worrying lack of confidence among the business community in the ability of our education providers to do their job to an acceptable standard."

“Quite clearly the vast majority of business owners who responded feel youngsters too often turn up for work completely unprepared, and it’s high time we looked to schools and colleges to address this issue, not to mention parents.

“Turning up on time, in appropriate attire, and knowing that they shouldn’t be on their phones every two minutes are basic skills all school leavers should have, but our members often tell us otherwise.

“We believe educations providers must start to interact more with local businesses, to inspire young people and create closer ties between businesses and the local education community. With so many new academies out there it’s now a choice schools can make themselves, but too often aren’t doing.”

School Leadership Today
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