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UK schooling 'is not teaching essential business skills'

03/11/2016 Joanna

Young people are not learning the skills they require to thrive in business during their time in school, according to a new report.

A survey of 4,000 finance professionals from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has indicated that more than 80 per cent of British school leavers lack essential business skills such as numeracy, meaning they require significant training before being put to work.

This is up from 75 per cent last year, with people skills and business skills cited as the most prominent areas of weakness, followed by technical proficiency, reports BBC News.

According to the companies surveyed, the lack of skills among new hires is having a negative effect on the economy as a whole, with more than 90 per cent saying their workload had increased as a result of skills shortages, while 66 per cent said it was increasing the stress levels of workers and 44 per cent saw a fall in departmental performance as a result.

The report indicates that such figures may highlight the need for teachers to do more to specifically prepare students for the kinds of skills they will require in the workplace. This may include practical capabilities such as public speaking and dealing with pressure, as well as academic skills such as numeracy and literacy.

Noel Tagoe, executive director of CIMA Education, said: "Children spend at least 14 years being schooled and that provides ample opportunity to equip them with the basic numeracy and literacy skills on which to base a career.

"Over the years our various governments have been keen to champion new ideas in education. My concern is that in the long term, the frequency of these changes appear not to be strengthening students' grasp of the basics."

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