Commenting on a new report titled ‘Avoiding the same old mistakes: Lessons for reform of 14-19 education in England’ published today by the IPPR, Marcus Mason, Employment and Skills Policy Manager at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:


“The IPPR is right to call for greater employer engagement in education and for an improved vocational education and training system. This will help to ensure that young people are given the right technical and soft skills to secure a job and work their way up the ladder.


“The Chamber Network, which has over 700 schools and 300 further education colleges in membership, is already playing a crucial role strengthening local connections to build sustainable relationships between education and business.


“Our Workforce Survey 2014 found that many firms think young people are unprepared for work, with 76% citing lack of work experience as a key reason. However, more than half of businesses (52%) say they don’t offer work experience placements. We must see more businesses play their part if we want to tackle the persistent problem of youth unemployment. 


“In our Business Manifesto 2014/15 we have proposed a number of measures to better prepare young people for work and to encourage companies to play a greater role in preparing the next generation of workers. In practice, this means introducing business governance into schools, proper careers advice with direct links to business, and measuring the success of schools and colleges based on the employment outcomes of pupils.”