The UK education system is continuing to fail business, according to CBI chief executive Sir Digby Jones.
Jones said half of all school leavers were still unsuitable for the jobs market and that the government should have done more to deal with the problem.
“When I arrived in the job in 2000… I could not believe… that one in five of the adult population of the UK couldn’t read, write and count like an 11-year-old,” he told BBC’s Working Lunch show.
“And then the following summer I get told that half the children taking their GCSEs didn’t get a C or above in English or Maths. In other words, basically they were unfit to go out and get a job.”
Jones said the situation had not improved since then.
David Way, national director of skills at the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) said a record number of 16- to 18-year-olds were staying in education and apprenticeship schemes.