Commenting on the CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:


“No one doubts that schools have an important role to play in supporting the future employability of children and young people.


“However, one fact often omitted by these surveys is the scandalously low level of investment in workforce training and development made by employers in this country in comparison with other industrialised countries.


“Even when, as now, employers have unprecedented influence and control over the development of education policy, surveys are churned out that seek to highlight perceived inadequacies in the way that schools develop and enhance the employability skills of young people.


“While there is no room for complacency, it should be recognised that the education system in this country has been identified in a recent survey – also published by Pearson – as the sixth best in the world and the second best in Europe


“However, the survey published today does little more than repeat the by now well-worn and unsubstantiated mantra that employers are not content with the skills and knowledge developed by pupils during their time at school.


“Employers have a vital role to play in workforce development and should reflect on what more they can do to support the development of workplace skills in young people, including fostering closer links with schools, colleges and universities, rather than expecting schools to shoulder this responsibility alone.”


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