IoD calls for schools to prioritise vocational skills

There
needs to be an increased emphasis on vocational training within schools if
skills shortages in the UK are to be tackled, reveals a report by the Institute
of Directors (IoD).

It
recommends changes be made to the secondary school system so that a proper
vocational pathway is developed alongside a tightened-up academic route into
higher education.

It
proposes that the current target for 50 per cent of young people to go on to
higher education is scrapped, with more effort being put into developing and
promoting post-school vocational training.

Report
author Ruth Lea, head of the IoD’s policy unit, said structural changes must be
introduced to the way education is delivered in this country if the cash
injection for education, announced in the Government’s comprehensive spending
review, is to deliver results.

"There
needs to be major changes to schools. The current one-size-fits-all
GCSE/A-level straightjacket fails too many children and we should be looking to
countries such as the Netherlands and Germany in order to develop proper
vocational courses," she said.

Lea
believes the present objective to send as many young people as possible into
higher education undermines vocational training by making it appear ‘second
best’.

She
added: "This helps no-one, least of all many students who study
inappropriate courses, and continues to put us at a disadvantage in the
international vocational skills league tables. We need more plumbers and fewer
media studies graduates."

The
report also calls for less governmental interference and for successful schools
to be able to have more autonomy.

www.iod.com

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