Pearson Education and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have just released a Skills Survey of 542 organisations, employing around 1.6 million people. The survey found that 61% of employers say school and college leavers have not developed the self-management skills they need for work while at school.
The number of employers who are dissatisfied with school and college leavers’ basic skills remains stuck at around a third – the same as a decade ago – with 42% reporting that they have had to provide remedial training for school and college leavers.
The persistence of this finding suggests that there are structural issues within our schools that need to be addressed if we are to ensure every young person gets a good start in life. The CBI has recently launched a major project designed to address this issue.
The survey also finds that as the UK competes ever more for business and talent in global markets, employers are looking to upskill their workforces. Over the next three to five years, employers expect to need more people with leadership and management skills (a balance of +67%) and other higher skills (+61%), whereas for lower-skilled workers, they expect to slightly cut numbers (-3%).
While half of employers (a balance of +51%) are confident that they will fill their low-skilled vacancies, they are not confident of meeting their need for higher-skilled employees (-15%).
John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, said: “The UK’s growth will depend on developing a wider and deeper pool of skills so that our economy can prosper in the face of fierce international competition for business.”
Rod Bristow, president of Pearson UK, said: “Employers still find that some young people lack the initiative, problem-solving and communication skills to succeed at work.”
Key themes that came out from the survey:
- Need for basic and employability skills, whether among school leavers or graduates
- Growing support for Apprenticeships, where employer engagement is up from 48% in 2008 to 63% currently
- Continuing demand for high-skilled employees.
Find out more about CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2012.
View the full CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2012.