CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2012: Learning to Grow: what employers need to learn from education and skills

First published on Mon, June 18, 2012.

This report is the fifth education and skills survey carried out by CBI and The Pearson Think Tank. Based on a survey of more than 500 employers, representing all sizes, regions and sectors of the UK, findings suggest that forging connections between education and the world of work will continue to be of critical importance if students are to go on to find fulfilling employment, and the UK economy is to remain competitive in a global market.

As employers seek to up-skill their workforces, they are met by a number of challenges.

Employers believe that the education system is failing to supply students with the skills needed to give them the best start in the job market. Around a third of employers report dissatisfaction with the literacy and numeracy skills of school leavers – a figure which has not improved in the last decade, whilst 61% of firms say school and college leavers have not developed the self-management skills they need for work while at school.

Nor are schools percieved to be offering helpful careers advice. Only 4% of businesses were confident that careers advice offered to young people was adequate, although more than 60% of respondents say they would like to play a greater role in delivering careers advice.

However, employers are increasingly willing to invest in up-skilling their own workforces:

  • Despite economic downturn, four-fifths of employers intend to maintain or increase their investment in training in the coming year.The proportion of employers investing in Apprenticeships has risen to almost two-thirds, of whom half are planning to invest further in the next few years.
  • However, only 22% of firms with less than 50 employees are providing Apprenticeships this year, as compared with 89% of firms with 5000 or more employees.
  • Sixty-three per cent of employers expect increases in tuition fees to affect the market for graduate-level skills, and 38% suggest they would consider developing alternative entry routes for graduates with good A-Levels.

Further comment from CBI and Pearson can be found in the report press release

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