BCC says colleges without links to local firms should not get top grade
Colleges should not be graded outstanding by Ofsted unless they can demonstrate strong links with local businesses, according to the British Chambers of Commerce.
The BCC, which represents thousands of businesses across the country, is ramping up its work with schools and colleges, after a survey revealed that almost nine in 10 businesses feel young people are unprepared for the workplace.
BCC employment and skills policy manager Marcus Mason told TES that colleges needed to work more closely with businesses to improve their students' employability and that this provision should be inspected.
"Students are leaving schools and colleges unprepared for the world of work," Mr Mason added. "It's a clich but that's what we are hearing from our members all the time. What we are keen to see for colleges is that the accountability framework encourages them to work more closely with businesses and for inspectors to take that seriously when making judgements.
"We are interested in having an inspection framework that looks at a broad set of outcomes about how colleges engage with local businesses and develop soft skills.
"One of the key reasons for going to school or college is to succeed later on in life. It's really important that when inspectors look at educational establishments they should only be deemed outstanding if they are in that respect."
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