Youngsters 'not ready for work'
Published 08/12/2011 | 05:22
Britain's youngsters are not fully prepared to work in a global economy - putting the UK at risk of being left behind by emerging nations such as China and India, research suggests.
Three quarters of business leaders (74%) are worried that many young people do not have broad enough horizons to work in a globalised and multicultural economy, according to a study by the British Council and Think Global.
And a similar proportion (75%) believe that the UK is in danger of being left behind by emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil unless young people learn to think on a more global level.
The research is based on interviews with 500 UK chief executives and board level directors.
The findings suggest that UK students are not fully prepared for the global demands of British business.
The vast majority (93%) of those questioned said it is important for schools to help their pupils to think about business on a global scale, with 80% saying that schools should be doing more on this issue.
It also reveals that knowledge of the wider world is more valuable to many employers than exam results.
When recruiting new employees, 79% of those questioned said knowledge and awareness of the wider world is important, compared with 74% who cited degree subject and classification, and 68% who said A-level results were important.
A second study of UK undergraduates found that only 18% had done or are definitely planning to work, study or volunteer abroad, although nearly nine in 10 thought these experiences were a good opportunity.
Of those students who have experienced working or studying abroad, only 12% cited work contacts for future employment as one of the things they had gained out of their experience.