Training & coaching news: American standards slump

US business leaders are worried about the educational quality of new staff.

A survey of 431 US business leaders found they thought that three-quarters of recently hired high school graduates were deficient in basic English skills such as grammar and spelling. Almost 30% of those surveyed said they doubted if college graduate employees could even write a simple business letter.

Also, more than half of those polled said such graduates were deficient in mathematics. Respondents were also concerned about the lack of a work ethic among many high school graduates.

The research was conducted by several organisations, including the US Society for HR Management and research operation The Conference Board.

Its research director, Linda Barrington, called the findings “a warning bell”.

“As the economy and the world of business change, the perception of employers is that we don’t have enough excellence out there to compete. If we’re not demonstrating excellence in communicating in English – our native language – how will we compete internationally?”

The research was based on interviews with 431 US business leaders and was conducted in September.

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