Are schools preparing students for the real world?

  • Are schools preparing students for the real world?

    Research compiled by CBI suggest that schools and colleges should better influence and prepare students  for employment. 


    Image courtesy of CBI


    This is a transition envisaged by students at the end of each academic year. It’s a tough yet exciting part of adulthood, waving goodbye to the education system and progressing on to the work place. However, before this giant leap of what seems like the unknown for school leavers, there are years of preparation that schools and colleges are required to undergo with students. But figures are questioning whether schools and colleges are doing enough to influence students. 


    In the survey conducted by CBI, 61% of 291 companies that employ nearly 1.5 million people, have expressed that they’re concerned about the resilience and self-management of school leavers. 33% are also concerned about school leaver’s attitude to work. But on a brighter note, living in a digital era has its advantages as figures demonstrate that 96% of firms are satisfied with young people’s ability of IT.


    The research also highlights that many young people leave school having acquired insufficient knowledge regarding their elected job career. The numbers stand at 56% for school leavers and 30% for graduates.


    John Cridland, the director-general of CBI has said: “The journey from school towards the world of work can be daunting, so we must support schools and teachers to help develop the skills, character and attitude students need to progress in life.” The director-general further stated: “We’re hearing the right noises from politicians of all colours, but the need for genuine reform on the ground remains. We need young people who are rigorous, rounded and grounded, and business stands ready to play its part.”


    The need for languages has also been highlighted in the study. The CBI have put together an infographic showing the languages most valued by employers. 65% of firms recognised a need for foreign languages. Businesses believe that having knowledge in a foreign language is valuable in connecting business globally.


    The infographic shows the top five countries in demand as French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic. Katja Hall, the deputy director-general for CBI said: “With the EU still our largest export market, it’s of no surprise to see German, French and Spanish language skills so highly prized by companies. But with China and Latin America seeing solid growth, ambitious firms want the language skills that can smooth the path into new markets.”


    She also emphasised the advantage of students learning a foreign language: “Young people considering their future subject choices should be more aware of the benefits to their careers that can come from studying a foreign language.”


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