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Are our school leavers ready for work?

Parliamentary Group launches inquiry to examine how well schools prepare young people for their future careers

Posted by Stephanie Broad | June 04, 2016 | People, policy, politics

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Education, supported by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), has launched an inquiry to examine how well our schools are preparing young people for their future, with a particular focus on their readiness for the workforce. 

According to industry groups such as the Confederation of British Industry, there is a growing concern among employers that in the future they will struggle to fill skilled job roles. But does an increasing focus from the Government on the acquisition of academic knowledge help this situation, or should schools be asked to play a role in equipping pupils with soft skills for the workplace? 

The APPG for Education is asking what value we should place on the need to promote other skills that prepare our children for the future, besides strictly academic ones.

The inquiry will examine if young people are experiencing the right balance between acquiring the requisite subject knowledge and developing the skills and understanding that will make them employees – and employers - who creatively enhance the productivity of companies.

Following a call for written evidence, the Group will host a series of roundtables in Parliament with pupils, educationalists, employers, parents and representative bodies. 

Danny Kinahan MP, Chair of the APPG for Education, said: “Clearly schools need to provide pupils with the knowledge to become productive members of society. But where can we expect our young people to develop the non-academic skills that all employers say are vital to success in the workplace? The APPG will examine these issues and submit a report to both the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.” 

The deadline for submissions to the Inquiry is 13 June 2016. Three roundtables will be held between July and September 2016 and the APPG for Education hopes to publish its findings in the autumn.

Full terms of reference and details of how to submit evidence can be found at    

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