Education standards the key to closing skills gap

The
UK’s skills shortages can only be closed by improving standards in education, a
report out today claims.

Research
by the Institute of Directors (IoD) warns that too many school-leavers are
lacking in basic skills and qualifications.

The
IoD said levels of achievement in school remain disappointing while the  Modern Apprentice scheme still contains
weaknesses.

Richard
Wilson, business policy executive at the IoD, said: "The central priority
for the future must be to improve levels of achievement in schools.

"Unless
pupils leave school with a good grounding in basic skills and qualifications to
at least Level 2, skill shortages and skill gaps will persist," he added.

However,
the IoD does identify several principal strengths within the Government’s
recent Skills Strategy White Paper, including:


measures to improve qualification levels, including the commitment to provide
free tuition for any adult without a Level 2 qualification;


help for small firms to provide training, including the expansion of Employer
Training Pilots


steps to encourage the low skilled to embark on training courses, including the
proposal to provide a learning grant of up to £30 per week for adults studying
full-time for their first Level 2 qualification.

By Ross Wigham

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