School leavers in the UK have the lowest number of essential skills suitable for a working life in Europe, a new survey has revealed.
The survey was varied out by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), who found that one in ten UK firms felt that applicants for the most junior of roles lacked the ‘functional skills, basic literacy and numeracy’ that would make them suitable. This was in contrast to the same feeling felt by 18% of European firms.
However, there may be a reason for such a disparity. European companies liaise more often with schools to determine skills that are requisite for the workplace. Executive director of CIMA, Noel Tagoe, said “In the UK the school and the work systems are divorced from each other and this leads to schools not providing the subjects companies need. … The divide between employers and educators remains vast, raising the cost burden on British firms and holding back the productivity of the workforce. The realities of the workplace must be better reflected in the classroom through discussion and practical experience."
The survey also revealed that this lack of essential skills in school leavers is adversely affecting the performance of businesses, with it taking longer to fill junior roles and new employees requiring more intensive training.
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