Young People ‘Need Help’ With Skills Development

Young People ‘Need Help’ With Skills Development

The government has made much of changing the GCSE and A-level exams to ensure that they are suitably challenging in today’s ever more competitive world. But young people are still leaving school and college without a range of essential skills.

Research conducted recently by Business in the Community found that adults across all age groups still feel as though they’re lacking some of the skills they need for the workplace.

The most sought-after skills were those for computing and coding, with 30 per cent of respondents stating that they’d like to learn more in this area. Leadership and teamwork skills weren’t far behind, with 29 per cent of those questioned revealing they’d like to improve in one or both of these areas.

Seeking out opportunities, thinking positively and problem solving were other areas where people felt their education and skills were lacking, the survey found.

However, in the 18 to 24 age group the most requested skills would be computing and coding, among 39 per cent of this demographic, and thinking positively, which appealed to 31 per cent of this age group.

What’s more, 22 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 wished they’d been taught more skills for creativity. On average, 17 per cent of people across all age brackets would like some training in this area.

Education director at Business in the Community Rachael Saunders said that one of the best ways to ensure people are leaving school with the skills they need for modern workplaces is for employers to work closely with educational establishments to help deliver training.

She explained that this approach will benefit “not only individual young people in achieving their goals, but also enabling business to adapt and be resilient in boosting local communities”.

But what about those who are already in work? Training Zone recently argued that the government should do more to encourage businesses to provide more in-work training for their staff.

Information technology training courses in particular would be welcome, given that a report by Accenture last year predicted that by improving their employees’ digital skills, companies in the UK could boost the country’s GDP by £11 billion.

In fact, the organisation stressed that it’s those working in industries at the greatest risk of automation who need this kind of training the most. Understanding the new technology being introduced will give them an opportunity to develop the skills they need to work alongside it as it’s brought in, thereby giving them job security.

The news provider also cited research from PwC, which suggested that automation can create as many jobs as it removes. However, the new jobs created will be very different to those it replaces, once again highlighting the need for a comprehensive staff training plan.

And it isn’t only technology that workers will benefit from learning more about. “Managerial techniques, logistics and strategy will become increasingly complex as industries continue to be turned on their head by disruptive forces,” Training Zone stated.

There are some encouraging findings from the Business in the Community survey; namely that although 18 to 24 year olds who are in employment would like to develop their computing and resilience skills, they are also more likely to have gained knowledge in these areas than those in older age groups.