Debates about the standard of exam results risk diverting attention from the real challenge for applicants and employers, of differentiating between candidates with similar grades, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Responding to the record pass rates for this year’s GCSE exams, Angela Baron, CIPD adviser on organisation and resourcing, said this requires employers and employees to focus more clearly on matching individual skills to specific job requirements.
“Academic qualifications such as A-levels can only act as a basic selection tool for employers,” said Baron. “Potential to develop, other job-related skills and life skills are often more important than exam grades.
“Carefully designed recruitment processes have always been essential for employers seeking to differentiate between job applicants with similar exam grades, and match them to specific job requirements. Continuing debates about exam standards do not change this,” she said.
“The adoption and promotion of life-long learning, and the ability to identify skills relevant to the workplace are the real challenges for students, employers and government alike.”