FE students lack skills for work, say firms

21st May 2010 at 01:00
Colleges are less responsive to employers' needs than private training providers and even universities, according to the third annual education and skills survey from the Confederation of British Industry

The survey report, Ready to grow: business priorities for education and skills, found that 43 per cent of the 694 employers surveyed were satisfied with colleges' responsiveness to their training requirements, compared with 65 per cent for private providers and 48 per cent for universities.

Seven out of ten employers called for qualifications that match their skills requirements.

Concerns remain over basic skills, with a fifth of employers reporting that they had offered remedial training to those fresh out of school or college. The bigger challenge is finding employees with intermediate and higher level skills.

Three-quarters of companies expect growth in leadership and management posts, while nearly three in five expect difficulties in recruiting employees with science, technology, engineering and maths skills.

Despite the economic situation, 58 per cent of employers plan to keep training spending at current levels, though nearly 70 per cent want to make it more cost-effective.

Employers want a more streamlined skills system and would like the Government to reduce the number of organisations and programmes.

An Association of Colleges (AoC) spokesperson said: "These are challenging results for colleges in terms of responsiveness but our members continue to be constrained by a high level of government bureaucracy."

The AoC's pre-election manifesto said that reduced bureaucracy and greater autonomy would streamline the UK skills system and allow colleges to respond more effectively to employers.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now