CBI claims exam grades are not a top business priority

Claims
of employer concern over exam grade inflation are "wildly overdone",
according to CBI director general Digby Jones.

He
said the reform of exams such as A-levels and GCSEs – which some believe should
be replaced by diplomas – does not feature among the top three business
priorities for the education system.

"It
is not true that thousands of employers are fretting about differentiating
between the brightest students,” he said.  “They are more worried by the real education scandal, which is the
number of students who come out of the system totally unprepared for today’s
world of work.

 "There are simply too many young people
who cannot read or write and do not understand the business world they are
about to go into.  That is where the
education system is really letting down young people,” Jones said.

The
CBI-Pertemps annual employment trends survey, due for release next month, shows
that firms want:


Higher levels of literacy and numeracy


More teachers with better qualifications


Extended modern apprenticeships.

The
survey also draws attention to the need for school leavers to improve their
life skills.

By Michael Millar

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