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Skills levels and careers education as important as exam passes for job market success

Commenting on the release of the GCSE results today, Phil Orford, Chief Executive of the Forum of Private Business, said:

  

"We congratulate GCSE students, who are reaping the rewards of all their hard work. Young people have a lot to offer, and businesses are keen to employ them.
 
"Unfortunately the situation remains that many young people entering the job market lack the basic skills employers are looking for and hold unrealistic views of the workplace.
 
"Basic literacy, numeracy and IT skills are essential to every job and employers are reluctant to hire if they have to plug the gap where compulsory education has failed. This continues to be a concern for our members, who tell us that they have difficulty in finding the school leavers with the right skills, experience and work ethic.

"Employers must be assured that qualifications reliably reflect a given level of skill. We know that schools and pupils are working hard to raise genuine skill levels, particularly in the core subjects of English and Maths, and this must remain a major priority. Schools need to work in partnership with local businesses to ensure the skills young people are developing reflect working life. 

"In addition, we would like to see further moves to improve the quality of careers education and work experience provision to provide pupils with a greater insight into and understanding of the career choices available, and the qualities, attitudes and behaviours employers are looking for in their future workforce."

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