Employability is key for new board

City amp; Guilds group to tackle students' preparation for work

Skills body City amp; Guilds has set up a new board aimed at bridging the gap between education and employment.

The Industry Skills Board, which held its first meeting last week, is made up of leading employers and representatives from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and aims to help the UK education system to become more closely aligned with business. Kirstie Donnelly, UK managing director of City amp; Guilds, said it would influence apprenticeship reforms as well as addressing employers' needs.

"As skills shortages increase across many sectors, there has never been a more critical moment to ensure that our young people are prepared for the world of work," she said.

Despite government reforms putting more power into the hands of employers through programmes such as apprenticeships, there was still a disconnect between the skills young people were learning in education and the skills demanded by employers, she added.

The need for such a body was confirmed by a recent City amp; Guilds survey, which shows that two-thirds of parents do not feel the current education system prepares their children for work. The poll of more than 3,500 adults also reveals that 64 per cent do not believe children are being provided with the skills employers want, such as communication and teamwork.

The findings echoed those of two recent polls of employers by the CBI and Pearson Education, and the British Chambers of Commerce, both of which say that pupils are leaving school unprepared for the world of work.

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