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Education in the news

Fiona Holmer Fiona Holmer | 16:31 UK time, Saturday, 14 May 2011

There have been several stories in the news recently claiming that young people don’t have good enough skills to break through the job market.

BBC News reports that a recent survey of business leaders has highlighted the fact that many young people lack the basic literacy and numeracy skills required in the work place. And with just over 900,000 16 to 24 year-olds currently out of work, the alarm is sounding. 

The government may be introducing new benchmarks, such as the English Bac (or Baccalaureate) to measure academic standards but the question remains: how employable are today’s school leavers?

The low take-up in science and technology at A level and in higher education is also a matter of concern. The STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiative is seeking to redress the balance. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on young people securing jobs in the long term though.

Graduates too are having a difficult time finding suitable employment with 40% of last year’s cohort being “underemployed” in low-skill jobs, BBC’s reporter Sean Coughlan writes

It might seem like the goal posts are being continually moved but there is a wealth of online resources out there to help improve their chances, such as BBC Skillswise or the Direct Gov website.

Fiona Holmer works on the BBC Parents Blog.


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