The importance of progression
Chris Jones talks about the need for higher level progression options
30 September 2012
It will come as no surprise that I think there is a worrying mismatch between the skills employers need to sustain and grow their businesses and the skills young people are being taught in the UK today. Research has shown that I am not alone in my concerns, with many employers worried about the basic skills levels of school and college leavers today. This makes young people a risky employment prospect at a time when many businesses are cautious about taking on new staff.
It’s no coincidence then that record numbers of young people currently find themselves unable to get a job. Meanwhile graduates - traditionally considered highly employable - are faring little better as businesses put greater emphasis on the practical skills they need from their workforce to deliver commercial success. Therefore, it is now critical that young people are given the means to gain the right level of skills, which will make them employable.
It’s important that we provide learners with the opportunity to study apprenticeships to a higher level in the UK. That is why City & Guilds is expanding its portfolio beyond levels 3 and 4; because we believe it is vital to invest in the provision of longer progression routes for young people. Over the coming months, we are launching Higher Level Apprenticeships across a number of key sectors. City & Guilds’ IT and Business Higher Apprenticeships have already launched and these will be followed by Social Care Management and Hospitality and Catering later this month, and Engineering in November.
Progression opportunities such as these are of the upmost importance if we are to avoid the skills shortage businesses in the UK are facing; in the next five to ten years, our aging workforce must be replaced by an upcoming generation able to meet the demands of skilled work."
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