A Tesco board director will today criticise the education system for churning out pupils with poor literacy and numeracy skills and an “attitude problem”, making them harder to recruit.
Lucy Neville-Rolfe, executive director of corporate and legal affairs at Tesco, will tell a London conference school leavers have basic problems with English and maths, according to the Guardian.
She will say: “”They don’t seem to understand the importance of a tidy appearance and have problems with timekeeping… Some seem to think that the world owes them a living.”
Neville-Rolfe will also question the exam system, which she believes appears to be getting easier and failing to stretch students.
Speaking to delegates at the Institute of Grocery Distribution conference on skills, Neville-Rolfe will call on the supermarket industry to come up with a manifesto for education and skills ahead of the general election.
Her comments follow those of Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Marks & Spencer, who claimed school leavers could not read, write or do simple sums.
The government has repeatedly insisted that teaching standards in the UK are at their highest, with exam grades improving year-on-year.
Tesco is the largest private sector employer in the country, with 280,000 UK employees.