Commenting ahead of the publication of the Education & Skills Committee report on Post-16 Skills David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said, “The fate of youngsters who leave school with neither the aptitude to work or the necessary skills is the biggest issue facing business today. Employers want to engage with the training system to ensure they have a workforce equipped to meet the challenges of the globalised economy yet, as the report identifies, are often frustrated by its complexity”.

“What businesses want are training schemes geared towards the skills that are needed in the local economy. The current system is too restrictive with colleges deciding what is needed instead of what is on offer being truly demand led”. “This report correctly identifies that whilst the problem has been recognised by the Government an awful lot more work needs to be done to ensure that post-16 training schemes meet the needs of business”.

Tim Hutchings, Chief Executive of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry said, “It is difficult to argue with David’s assessment but I would suggest that the problem extends far beyond school leavers. We have recently received a variety of badly written and unfocused job applications from apparently experienced people who have long since been school leavers. This is not a new problem. One of the issues in the past has been that training has been funding, not demand, driven. If the government is really serious it will need to listen much more closely to what business has been saying for many years”.

For further information contact Tim Hutchings on 01707 398400 or 07956 172208.