PSHE Association welcomes CBI call for education that prepares pupils for work and life beyond school

The PSHE Association welcomes today’s report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) calling for reforms to the education system so that it better prepares pupils for the world of work and life beyond school.

The report, based on a study of 291 businesses, suggests that young people are ‘underequipped for life’ when they leave school, and lack communication and self-management skills alongside basic literacy and numeracy. These attitudes to work and general aptitudes were of greater concern to those surveyed than formal academic qualifications.

The report argues that an overemphasis on passing exams left students without the necessary skills to thrive in the workplace and that this is putting the long-term prospects of the UK economy at risk, but suggests in its recommendations that businesses are willing and able to help.

CBI director-general John Cridland commented that:  “The journey from school towards the world of work can be daunting, so we must support schools and teachers to help develop the skills, character and attitudes students need to progress in life” adding that “we need a system that better reflects how well a school’s culture nurtures the behaviours and attitudes young people will need”.

The PSHE Association has made this very case as part of our submission to the Education Select Committee’s inquiry into the subject. Our evidence briefing highlights research that draws clear links between skills and attributes – including those related to character and resilience – acquired in PSHE education and young people’s ability to thrive in life and in work. We look forward to sharing this with the CBI and working towards an education system that better supports individual young people, employers and the economy as whole. The Association welcomes the CBI’s willingness to engage in improving the school curriculum to this effect.


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