Young people not being properly prepared for working life

School children are being abandoned by both teachers and employers when it comes to their careers, a damming survey has revealed.

The poll of 544 employers and more than 300 schools by careers advice provider b-live revealed that little was being done by either to adequately prepare young people for work.

Fewer than one in five employers said they provided enough work experience for young people, with more than half of firms saying they did not focus enough on recruiting graduates and school leavers.

Meanwhile, only four in 10 teachers rated student employability as the most important part of the careers curriculum.

Three-quarters of employers said work experience was the most effective way of making school leavers or graduates employable – but only 18% said they provided enough of these opportunities.

Teachers believed that many of their students made the wrong career choices when they leave school, but only 8% said providing or sourcing suitable employability for school leavers was a key objective.

The research concluded that there was an understanding from both employers and schools that more needed to be done to prepare young people for work, but that both had other priorities and stretched resources.

Tanja Kuveljic, managing director at b-live, said: “Engaging with young people at the pre-employment stage can really help employers in their bid to close skills gaps and recruit and retain talent.

“Better communication [by] businesses will give young people a better insight into the jobs available and the skills and qualifications required. It will also add real value to the business by creating a sufficient talent pipeline, cutting recruitment costs and increasing retention.”

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