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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber Reacts to Ofsted Annual Report

Chamber Chief Executive Scott KnowlesCommenting on the findings of education watchdog Ofsted’s annual report for 2015, which was published this morning, Chamber Chief Executive Scott Knowles said: “Young people need to leave education fully prepared for the world of work. While academic attainment is important, many employers place greater value on softer employability skills and the work-readiness of potential employees, something which schools are still not effectively measured on.

“It’s important to bear in mind that the figures in today’s report are intended to provide a snapshot rather than the true picture, using historic inspection data which won’t necessarily take into account the recent improvements we’ve seen in the proportion of young people attending a good or better secondary school across the East Midlands.

“The bigger issue is the wide variance in the way in which schools across the region deliver activities which equip young people with the skills and behaviours they need to thrive in the workplace. There are a number of ‘hot spots’ where a lot of good work goes into facilitating strong engagement between businesses and schools. However, there are also some ‘not spots’, which the Chamber seeks to support by taking some of the activity which works well in other areas and replicating it.

“Ultimately, employers want young people who are competent in core English and maths but also have the right attitude and approach to being in a work environment… skills can be taught in the workplace, but attitude needs to be nurtured from a much earlier age.”