Schools and colleges should recruit more business executives to work as governors to help close the gap in skills and work ethic among many young people, according to the head of the British Chambers of Commerce.

Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the BCC, said Britain was facing a shortage of ’employability skills’ such as teamwork, respect and even simply turning up on time.

Marshall said the skills gap was a more pressing problem than Brexit. He called for a change in attitudes towards vocational education, adding that work-related education should be valued as much as academic learning.

He also criticised what he described as the ‘university at all costs’ approach to education.

Marshall called for more interaction between businesses and schools. In addition to wanting to see more business chiefs becoming school governors, he said that many teachers, not just school pupils, would benefit from work experience in business.

He said: ‘Business people have served for many years on school governing bodies and what they report back is that schools often don’t have a deep understanding of business and enterprise.

‘It’s an area where many teachers don’t have direct experience themselves because they’ll have gone straight into the teaching profession from their own education.’

Asked what skills were missing from many new workers, Marshall said: ‘Some of this is down to what we call ’employability skills’, the kind of things which people learn from both families and education about teamwork, problem-solving, turning up on time, respect for customers and for managers, dedication and grit.

‘And business people, when they see those skills in young people they are really, really keen to develop them and propel them forward.’

From: This is | August 5, 2017 | Written by: Vicki Owen

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