Growing concerns over graduates’ work aptitude
LONDON: A third of UK companies are concerned about young people’s attitude to work, a report by business leaders has said.
With many graduates and school leavers lacking the mindset and skills which are required to thrive in the workplace, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) stated that teachers needed to “better reflect the importance of attitude and aptitude for work”.
There are also worries about the literacy and numeracy skills of young employees, with firms admitting they have had to run classes for recruits.
The CBI/Pearson survey of 344 firms found that 32% were dissatisfied with graduates’ attitudes and behaviours of self-management and resilience, with 40% saying that they lacked customer awareness.
Around 33% of business leaders were unhappy with the literacy of young applicants, while 29% said their numeracy wasn’t up to scratch.
Faced with a skills shortage, two in five businesses (41%) have been forced to do remedial training for school or college leavers.
Firms believe that primary schools should focus on developing literacy and numeracy (67%), self-management (41%) and communication skills (34%).
The report said: “Personal attitudes, aptitude, readiness to learn, effective communication skills and a sufficient capacity to cope with numerical data are the key enablers.”
Josh Hardie, the CBI’s deputy director-general, said: “Quality of teaching, learning and careers inspiration defines the life chances of young people.”
Dr Mary Bousted, head of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “With savage cuts to further education funding since 2009, it is unsurprising that businesses are struggling to find enough skilled staff.”