We’ve all seen headlines about the state of the labour market, and the lack of opportunity for those out of work. Adding to that debate is the recently published UK Commission’s Employer Skills Survey 2011 which allows employers to voice their concerns and give their perspective.
The survey is the result of over 74,000 interviews carried out by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) with employers in England throughout 2011. Although the report is very detailed it does contain some interesting nuggets regarding the state of the skills system and how this contributes to employment in England.
According to the survey, employers often view those moving on from education as lacking work experience, having a poor attitude, lacking key skills or competencies and more worryingly that a small proportion have literacy and numeracy issues.
The survey also identified that 17 – 18 year old FE recruits were seen as more work ready than school leavers of similar age (due to ‘college students being more likely to be studying vocational courses, and college students also being more likely to combine work and learning’). This is certainly an interesting view, and the raising of the participation age will undoubtedly help give learners more opportunity to develop these ‘work-relevant skills’.
On the topic of vocational courses, the report says that ‘relatively small numbers of employers train their employees towards nationally recognised qualifications, which highlights their lack of engagement with the publicly designed skills and qualification system’. This supports UCKES position that employers need to be working more in a system that is flexible and meets their needs.
So are the current unemployment figures due to a lack of skills and knowledge, or a lack of job vacancies? Let us know what you think.