A Closer Look

UK – Vocational Education – Skills Gap: Economic Recovery Depends on Balance Between Academic and Vocational Ed

“Big companies believe the UK’s economic recovery may depend on improving the balance between academic and vocational education” writes James Taylor in We need more investment in practical skills, say employers on managementtoday.co.uk.

87% of the large firms questioned by education services provider Pearson said the UK economic recovery was at risk without more investment in practical skills. Their argument, it seems, is that there’s too much focus on academic pursuits and not enough on workplace-friendly skills like communication, team-working and IT. And one thing’s for sure: unless the education system meets the needs of end-users, i.e. our leading businesses, the private sector won’t be able to create the jobs and wealth needed to power that recovery” adds Taylor.

“That certainly doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment, if this survey is anything to go by.” thinks Taylor. “Only 16% felt that the UK education system was providing young people with the right mix of academic knowledge and the kind of practical skills they’ll need in the workplace (almost three-quarters think it’s wrong that subjects like IT aren’t part of the core curriculum, for instance).”

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