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Businesses 'keen for return of compulsory work experience for school students'

10/11/2017 Joanna

Education policymakers should consider reinstating compulsory work experience for school students, according to British businesses.

A new survey of 500 business leaders carried out by Arch Apprentices has revealed that 93 per cent are keen to see the government reverse the decision made in 2012 to remove the requirement for compulsory work experience placements, with many companies believing that students are not being adequately prepared for the modern workplace.

Around 68 per cent of the respondents said work experience could help to prepare young people for the world of business, while 57 per cent said it can help to instil a stronger work ethic. At the moment, 43 per cent of companies say they struggle to find enthusiastic young people to take on new jobs, while 39 per cent said most young applicants have little or no experience in the workplace.

The report also incorporated a separate poll of 1,000 parents with children aged 14 to 18, which indicated that parents are generally more enthusiastic to see specially trained careers advisers installed in schools, rather than a return to compulsory work experience.

Of those polled, 40 per cent said their child's school does not offer work experience, while half noted a lack of information about apprenticeship schemes and one-quarter said schools did not provide any careers advice at all.

Ben Rowland, co-founder of training provider Arch Apprentices, said more needs to be done to provide students "with the right information at the right time, to prepare them for a career that is fulfilling, rewarding and in touch with the digital world we now live in".

He added: "Compulsory work experience would go some way to providing this, but there's more we can do - employers, parents, schools and training providers need to come together to arm young people with more information about their options."

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