Government urged not to scrap 'vital' work experience placements
13 Jan 2012
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has called on the Government to rethink its proposals to remove the statutory requirement for GCSE-level school pupils to complete a minimum of two weeks of work experience, amid fears that the move will impact on the number of pupils who leave school ready to enter the job market.
Furthermore, the business group is calling on the Government to consider expanding existing work experience placements to help prepare pupils at the beginning of their working lives.
Jane Bennett of the FPB said, ‘There’s no better place than a proper working environment to test out a career choice, and it’s also by far the best arena for young adults to learn the skills so critical to success’.
‘If small businesses in the private sector are to lead job creation and tackle unemployment they need a better labour force that includes young, ambitious and talented individuals who know what it takes to thrive in the workplace.’
‘Work-linked learning can also be extraordinarily powerful in engaging students who are bored or turned off by conventional classroom teaching. It’s hard to see how any plan to reduce work experience for school pupils fits with the Government’s pledge to significantly increase the number of apprenticeships,’ she added.
According to research by the FPB, many business owners believe that young people in the UK are largely unprepared for the world of work, with many school leavers demonstrating a lack of basic skills, and no understanding of basic workplace protocol, including punctuality.