A report published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) concludes that better careers education is necessary to ensure young people meet the requirements of the modern jobs market.
The study was conducted to address the "mismatch" between the qualities looked for by employers and those offered by prospective employees.
Schools should be assessed and rated according to their ability to teach "employability skills", according to the BCC. Quality careers education should also be given to young people, including more contact with a number of different employers.
In addition, qualifications need to be "consistent and clear" to allow employers to conduct an accurate appraisal of an applicant's skills. Such universally understood qualifications should be awarded in literacy, numeracy, computing and foreign languages.
A closer relationship between the BCC and small and medium-sized firms and universities is advocated to ensure good workplace training programmes are provided and academic courses are relevant to job opportunities.
Nora Senior, president of the BCC, said: "Government, schools, colleges and employers must all work together in the coming months and years to ensure that the UK has a workforce that is 'fit for purpose'."
Posted by Theo Foulds