Today, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has released the findings of its Workforce Survey, entitled ‘Developing the Talents of the Next Generation‘. The study gathered data from 3,000 companies, and the findings reported that 9/10 companies feel that young people are inadequately prepared for the work place when they leave the education system.
Over half of these companies also stated that they believe young people suffer from a lack of ‘soft’ skills, such as communication and knowing how to work in a team, and more than a quarter admitted that they have not recruited a young person (age 16-24) within the last year due to the fear of poor work readiness.
Part of the problem that a lot of businesses cited that they don’t have the time or resources to offer work experience placements. Only 39% of the companies surveyed said that they offer apprenticeships.
However, John Longsworth, Director General of the BCC, clarified that this is not an attack on the youth. “It isn’t about pointing a finger at young people – it is a joint responsibility between businesses, educators, and government.”
The BCC has made recommendations, that were written into its 2014/2015 Business Manifesto. They strongly suggest that businesses and educators work on strengthening the bond between them, and how they can help each other ensure the readiness of young people entering the workforce.
Another major proposal they mentioned was to increase the take up of apprenticeships by extending the £1500 apprenticeship grant for employers.
A full listing of key findings and statistics, as well as a Workforce infographic, can be found at the BCC’s website, here.