We must shine a light on essential skills

8th July 2011 at 01:00

I read with interest the viewpoints from business leaders on what they would like added to the curriculum so school leavers have the skills that companies need ("A view from the bridge - what pupils are missing", 1 July).

Last month I attended an employers' roundtable debate as part of the celebrations for VQ Day (Vocational Qualifications Day). A key lesson was that there needs to be a greater partnership between educators and employers, to help students develop the skills they need to enter the workplace and so employers will be more easily able to recruit people with the skill sets their organisation needs.

It is clear employers are very aware of their importance in helping young people develop vocational skills, and we are already seeing big organisations change their recruitment policies by cutting back on graduate intake and increasing the number of apprentices.

But more can be done. This is why VQ Day saw some of the UK's top employers join a nationwide campaign to embed vocational learning into the future of their business and sign a 12-month commitment to encourage and support vocational learning in their communities. I would encourage more employers to follow their lead.

Peter Mitchell, Interim chief executive, Edge.

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