Employers lose talent at the school gates

3rd September 2008

Employers will miss out on talent and fail to close the skills gap if they continue to rely on schools to prepare young people for work, according to new research from b-live.

A new survey of more than 850 schools and employers reveals that little is being done by employers or schools to prepare young people for work, with over half (52%) of all businesses saying they do not focus enough on recruiting graduates and school leavers.

Key findings

· 46% of schools say less than half of their students enter the right job or course when they leave school

· Supporting local schools is seen as the biggest brand enhancer from a CSR perspective but just 33% do this

· Just one in four schools have direct links or partnerships with national organisations

· 52% of all businesses said they do not focus enough on recruiting new talent at graduate and school leaver level

Work experience

· 73% of employers say work experience is the most effective initiative in making school leavers, graduates and apprentices employable

· Only 18% of employers believe they provide enough work experience

Schools objectives

· 33% of schools say number of students entering employment is the least important measure of success

· Four in ten teachers (40%) do not feel that the careers curriculum is core to their school’s objectives

· Only 42% of schools say actual employability of students is the most important part of the careers curriculum

· Only 8% of teachers say providing or sourcing suitable employability post-16 is a key objective

Tanja Kuveljic, Managing Director, b-live says: “Only when employers provide support to schools in delivering the careers curriculum will young people leave education with the relevant skills and realistic expectations of the workplace.

“The research suggests there is an understanding on both the school and employer side that more needs to be done to prepare young people for work. But teachers have competing pressures, with much of their time spent focusing on exams they just don’t have the time or know how to achieve the employability agenda.

“Better communication between young people, pre-employment stage, and businesses will give young people a better insight into the jobs available and the skills and qualifications required. It will also add real value to the business by creating a sufficient talent pipeline, cutting resourcing costs and increasing retention.”

Source Onrec.com