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Sloppy speech can cost jobs

Well-qualified young people are failing to get jobs because they leave school unable to speak articulately, according Ofsted's head.

Christine Gilbert, chief inspector, agreed with the findings of a study this week that teenagers rely on a limited vocabulary.

Giving evidence to the Commons education committee, Ms Gilbert said: "I have seen well-qualified young people not able to get jobs because they are not sufficiently articulate in interviews."

Her comments follow a report by Professor Tony McEnery, a linguistics specialist from Lancaster university, who said young people were increasingly conforming to the stereotype of Vicky Pollard - a character in Little Britain.

He analysed 10 million words of transcribed speech, 100,000 words from teenagers' blogs and research among 200 youngsters for his study, conducted for Tesco.

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