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Message boards : Politics : Unemployable School Leavers

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Profile Chris SProject donor
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Message 1141548 - Posted: 17 Aug 2011, 10:37:26 UTC

Millions of school leavers and graduates with "fairly useless" degrees are unemployable because they lack basic skills, a major business lobby group will warn today. The devastating report, from the British Chambers of Commerce, reveals small businesses are frustrated at the quality of applicants, who they say can barely concentrate or add up.

Nearly half of the 2000 firms surveyed said they would be "fairly or very nervous" about hiring someone who has just finised their A levels. The report warns: "Too many people are coming out with fairly useless degrees in non-serious subjects. It's findings raise serious questions about the type of education and skills training in Britain.


Lets be fair it is not the fault of the young people themselves but with the education system. Dr. Adam Marshall said new courses spring up because there is a demand from would-be students, but not necessarily from businesses. There may be a course in underwater basket weaving, but that does not mean anybody will actually employ you at the end of it.


15 years ago I sat on my local Chamber of Commerce and they were saying exactly the same thing back then. After 10 years of Labour and the loony left, nothing has changed in the slightest. When I was at my local FE College, we ran HND courses, and some of the people wanting to sign up could barely read or write. let alone do simple maths. And this was after 11 years in mainstream education.

I know people that won't employ anyone under 21, and certainly not anyone with media or social studies degrees. What they want is maths, science and engineering qualifications, but the majority of studentas just don't possess the brain power to get those, so they opt for the easier stuff instead. Now they are finding that their soft option won't get them a job.

Colleges can only survive by bums on seats, and an upper quartile pass rate, to ensure future funding. Therefore thay will put on the easier courses that will give them that. It's all a big mess, and I've seen it coming for a long time, but I doubt anything will change radically in the foreseeable future.

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Message 1141556 - Posted: 17 Aug 2011, 11:07:30 UTC - in response to Message 1141548.

Millions of school leavers and graduates with "fairly useless" degrees are unemployable because they lack basic skills, a major business lobby group will warn today. The devastating report, from the British Chambers of Commerce, reveals small businesses are frustrated at the quality of applicants, who they say can barely concentrate or add up.

Nearly half of the 2000 firms surveyed said they would be "fairly or very nervous" about hiring someone who has just finised their A levels. The report warns: "Too many people are coming out with fairly useless degrees in non-serious subjects. It's findings raise serious questions about the type of education and skills training in Britain.


Lets be fair it is not the fault of the young people themselves but with the education system. Dr. Adam Marshall said new courses spring up because there is a demand from would-be students, but not necessarily from businesses. There may be a course in underwater basket weaving, but that does not mean anybody will actually employ you at the end of it.


15 years ago I sat on my local Chamber of Commerce and they were saying exactly the same thing back then. After 10 years of Labour and the loony left, nothing has changed in the slightest. When I was at my local FE College, we ran HND courses, and some of the people wanting to sign up could barely read or write. let alone do simple maths. And this was after 11 years in mainstream education.

I know people that won't employ anyone under 21, and certainly not anyone with media or social studies degrees. What they want is maths, science and engineering qualifications, but the majority of studentas just don't possess the brain power to get those, so they opt for the easier stuff instead. Now they are finding that their soft option won't get them a job.

Colleges can only survive by bums on seats, and an upper quartile pass rate, to ensure future funding. Therefore thay will put on the easier courses that will give them that. It's all a big mess, and I've seen it coming for a long time, but I doubt anything will change radically in the foreseeable future.



Well, it may be little comfort knowing that this is not something unique to the UK. It's exactly the same here in Sweden, and as far as I have been able to find out, the same problem in most, if not all western countries. We're going to be eaten alive by the Asian countries in less than one generation, if nothing changes.
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Message 1141558 - Posted: 17 Aug 2011, 11:12:49 UTC - in response to Message 1141548.

Colleges can only survive by bums on seats, and an upper quartile pass rate, to ensure future funding. Therefore thay will put on the easier courses that will give them that. It's all a big mess, and I've seen it coming for a long time, but I doubt anything will change radically in the foreseeable future.


There are moves a-foot to change this as this present government have already
commented about what you have said, Chris. But then, them actually doing something
about it is another thing though....The educational system seems to have been
wrecked. But now the problem is if we wish to wind the clock back to the old
ways of educating there's no one around who knows how to implement it at school level.

Profile Michael John Hind
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Message 1141559 - Posted: 17 Aug 2011, 11:23:41 UTC

I have thought about the educational system on top of many other things
regarding the UK over many years. The conclusion I came to was that the
system that we run our country under is outdated and out modded.
It does not work for the good of the country anymore, long term planning
is the way forwards on many issue but the political system that drives
our country does not possess the faculty that allows for this.

Profile Chris SProject donor
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Message 1141560 - Posted: 17 Aug 2011, 11:31:31 UTC
Last modified: 17 Aug 2011, 11:33:34 UTC

Well, it may be little comfort knowing that this is not something unique to the UK. It's exactly the same here in Sweden, and as far as I have been able to find out, the same problem in most, if not all western countries. We're going to be eaten alive by the Asian countries in less than one generation, if nothing changes.

I fear you may be right. The days of automatic employment are gone. When we left school in the early 60's we went down to the Youth Employment Bureau, and there was no shortage of apprenticeships and traineeships available. At 18 you could go to the local Labour Exchange, and find plenty of work. I think they're called Job Centres now, but I'm hearing that 10 people are chasing each vacancy.

The Government introduced the Key Skills initiative in FE Colleges to give students a qualification in Literacy, Numeracy, and Communication, alongside their actual main course. All skills they should have learnt in the first place by the time they left school. Then they brought in the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) which was essentially a bribe of up to about £30 a week for the 16-19 age group to try and stop them bunking off College.

What happened? Kids would turn up 10 minutes before the end of the lesson and demand the teacher sign their EMA for attendance as without it they couldn't claim the money. When the teacher quite rightly had marked them as absent and refused, they got a torrent of abuse and complaints from the parents.

Most of the above played some part in the recent riots I'm sure.

Message boards : Politics : Unemployable School Leavers

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