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Students and school leavers still lack basic skills

By: Dave Robbins
28 June 2012


Despite ever improving ‘A’ Level pass rates, it seems that school and college leavers’ basic skills haven’t improved over the past decade. That’s the message from the latest CBI/Pearson Education & Skills’ report. 


According to the survey, around a third of employers are dissatisfied with the level of school and college leavers’ literacy skills and 30% with their numeracy skills. That’s about the same as a decade ago. At the same time, 42% of employers reported that they have had to provide remedial training for school and college leavers to bring them up to an acceptable standard.


The report goes on to make a number of recommendations including: better links between employers and schools, and improved careers advice.


John Cridland, CBI director-general, says: “There is nothing more important to the future economic success of our country, and the lives of young people, than education. In the UK we must ensure that our education and skills system can continue to compete at the cutting edge.”


Rod Bristow, UK president of Pearson, adds: “Despite improvements in the past decade, employers want to see an even sharper focus on literacy and numeracy, beginning at primary school. Literacy and numeracy are the basic building blocks that help young people learn other subjects, get on in life and find rewarding work.”


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