Young people do not feel prepared for the world of work

Schools are still far too focused on exam results and are not doing enough to equip their students for the workplace, according to students themselves.
The new research released today, which questioned both secondary school aged students and their parents, saw three quarters (76%) of pupils say that their school trains them just to pass exams and get good grades rather than preparing them for the world of work.
More than 80% of students think it is important for the education system to be more career focused, however a third don’t think they have been actively encouraged to undertake work experience as part of the school curriculum.
Furthermore,  almost a third surveyed by the Career Colleges Trust – to mark the approval of ten new Career Colleges, opening in September 2015 and 2016 – were unclear about what they actually want do to when they finish school.
And parents themselves also admit to not taking into account the vocational aspect of a school when choosing one for their children, with almost a third saying they chose based purely on its position in exam league table results.
Lord Baker, Founder and Trustee of the Career Colleges Trust, says:
“Our country is facing a huge skills gap across many industries and this research highlights the extent of this problem. If young people themselves are not feeling prepared for work, employers will continue to struggle with the recruitment issues that have become such a challenge for UK industry.
“We need to ensure that young people are equipped with the skills they need to go into the workplace with confidence. This of course includes good levels of maths and English but extends far wider to practical, technical and employability skills.
“I launched employer-led Career Colleges to help address this issue and am delighted that the network is expanding.
“By engaging employers to help design a curriculum and offer a variety of work experience opportunities, we are giving young people a chance to learn relevent skills and get an insight into the real work of work. Put simply, this is what young people want and what businesses need.”
Ten new Career Colleges will be opening their doors to students in September 2015 and 2016, including the Country’s first in construction, healthcare, digital and professional services.
The new colleges will join the two that opened September 2014 – Bromley’s Hospitality, Food and Enterprise Career College and Hugh Baird’s Hospitality and Visitor Economy Career College. Both these pioneering projects are thriving and will be accepting their second cohorts of students in September.
Career Colleges offer employer-led, industry-focused specialist education for 14-19 year olds. High quality vocational training is underpinned by a rigorous academic curriculum in core subjects, ensuring students get a rounded and relevant education.
Chairman of the Career Colleges Trust and entrepreneur, Luke Johnson, says:
“This research clearly shows that it is not just employers who feel young people are not prepared for work. This is simply not acceptable.
“We owe it to young people in this country to equip them with the skills they need to embark the pathway to a successful career.
“This is precisely the reason why I am involved with the Career Colleges Trust and am delighted to see the network growing. These are pioneering projects – led by employers in partnership with colleges, who have stepped up to the mark and are helping address the growing skills shortage within their particular industry
“The partnerships between these employers and forward-thinking colleges will ensure that students will receive excellent industry training, combined with the solid academic skills that are vital for career success. I wish each venture all the very best, and very much hope that other employers will recognise the benefits of being involved in such a project.”
The Career College network –
Capture Capture 2
2016 opening – approved
The curriculum of each Career College is designed by employers, for employment. Each programme incorporates core academic elements (including GCSEs in core subjects) with high quality vocational and technical education, taught by industry experts.
This education is designed to equip young people with the skills to enter a career in a particular industry. The employer-engagement within a Career College is on a level not seen anywhere else in the country.
Students get involved in industry projects and develop enterprise and communication skills, to prepare them for work and life. Equipped with such relevant academic and vocational skills, students can progress onto a higher level apprenticeship, University or work.
For more information about Career Colleges, please see
For more information and/or interview requests – please contact Sarah Newman on 07779 719199 or [email protected]
For details of the report please click the following link: 5675 Career Colleges Report
Research details:
The research for Career Colleges was carried out by Opinion Matters between: 21 / 07 / 2015 and 28 / 07 / 2015
Sample: 1001 secondary school aged pupils and 1001 parents of secondary school age
All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).
76% of students say their school trains them just to pass exams rather than prepare them for the world of work (q1)
81% of students believe it’s important for the education system to be more career/employer led (q1)
32% of students do not know what they want to do after school/education in terms of career (q1
32% of parents say they chose their child’s secondary school based on exam league tables (q1)

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