Secondary teachers are rolling their sleeves up in a bid to help combat youth unemployment, after a new report revealed that half of all young people living in UK cities are not achieving high enough grades in English and maths to get them a job.
The study by Centre for Cities reveals that many school leavers are not achieving basic literacy and numeracy skills.
Published yesterday (November 24th), Learning Curve: Schooling & Skills for Future Jobs found that an average of nearly 50 per cent of all pupils living in cities left school between 2007 and 2010 without an A* to C in maths and English.
Conducted in conjunction with The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the report argues that the lack of literacy and numeracy is having a detrimental effect on young people's futures.
It is also impacting on the economy, as businesses do not have the necessary skill pool from which to employ workers.
Joanna Averley, interim chief executive of Centre for Cities, commented that league tables do not differentiate between subjects, so schools have been disincentivised from pushing pupils to get good grades in tougher subjects, like English and maths.
"The government has taken steps to address this issue, but they could go further," she said.
"This rebalancing is needed urgently to ensure schools are equipping young people with the basic numeracy and literacy skills they will need to get a job."
Figures for the third quarter of 2011 released by the government this week show that 1.16 million young people ages 16 to 24 are currently not in education, employment or training (Neet), the BBC reported.
This has risen by 137,000 compared to last year, putting almost one-fifth of all young people into the Neet category.
Mark Protherough, executive director of learning and professional development at the ICAEW, said: "Now, perhaps more than ever before, high quality education serves as a vital pathway to economic competitiveness."
The future of the nation depends on our willingness to create a new educational partnership that raises academic expectations of children and fosters the skills, tools and resources they need to be successful, he added.
Posted by Charlotte Michaels