Unemployed teenagers blame lack of computer skills

Almost one-in-five young people not in education, employment or training (Neets) believe their computer skills are not good enough for the job they want to do.teenagers at computer

A similar number (17 per cent) said they believed they would be in work if they could use a computer better, while one-in-ten are “embarrassed” by their lack of computer skills, according to a poll by the Prince’s Trust.

The figures follow Michael Gove’s announcement earlier this year that Computer Science will be added to the English Baccalaureate – a small group of approved academic subjects used as a key indicator in school league tables – in order to help plug the computer skills gap among young people.

Top technology firms including Facebook have also been asked to help design a new computer science training course for teachers.

The Prince’s Trust poll asked more than 1,300 British 15 to 25 year-olds – including 265 Neets – about their computer skills.

It found that about one-in-four (24 per cent) said they dreaded filling in online job application forms. More than one-in-10 (11 per cent) of the Neets questioned said they avoid using computers.

The survey was published to mark the launch of a new Prince’s Trust scheme designed to engage schoolchildren with science and technology. Under the initiative, staff from the Science Museum will visit Prince’s Trust clubs in schools to work with young people who are at risk of exclusion or underachieving.

Prince’s Trust chief executive Martina Milburn said: “A lack of computer literacy can hold young people back and this is damaging their job prospects. Without basic computer skills, young people will not be able to pursue career paths and passions because they can’t get a foot in the door.

“With youth unemployment on the rise again, we need to arm our young people with the skills they need in today’s tough jobs market. Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills are a crucial part of this.”

The scheme follows a £500,000 donation to the Trust last year by musician will.i.am.

Will.i.am said: “Inspiring young people through science and technology is a powerful tool and I am proud to see my donation to the Prince’s Trust being put into action to help engage disadvantaged youth who would not otherwise have access to technology and science education.

“These workshops are an amazing way to engage disadvantaged youngsters who don’t have this sort of access to technology and science otherwise.”

UK business unhappy with school leavers’ skills

A survey conducted by the CBI employers’ group and Pearson UK across 542 businesses (1.6m employees) has found that a third of businesses are dissatisfied with schools leavers’ literacy and numeracy skills and suggests that there has been little improvement in basic skills over the past decade.

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Morrisons to fund 1,000 degrees in retail studies

Supermarket chain aims to enrol 1,000 people in its ‘Futures’ programme within next 18 months.

According to the Guardian:

Morrisons will fund the degree studies of 1,000 A-level students in a move to recruit its future senior managers straight from school.’

‘The Bradford-based supermarket chain said the initiative, to be announced this week, would offer young people with the “right drive and attitude” the chance to get a management education from one of the UK’s top business schools without the attendant student debt. It aims to enrol 1,000 people in its “Futures” programme within the next 18 months, with the first 100 in place by the end of the summer.’

Access the full article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/aug/13/morrisons-fund-degrees-retail-studies

Source:  Gemma/ The Guardian

New Employability Skills programme for Nationwide Education

With the on-going debate on the future of Careers Advice in schools never off the news agenda and a recent CBI survey reporting that 70% of employers want action to improve the employability skills among young people, Nationwide Education (produced by dbda ltd) have developed a comprehensive new Employability Skills programme for ages 4 to 16.

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Low literacy levels – the problem continues

In a report by the CBI, the employer’s organization showed that 42% of companies are not satisfied with the basic English skills of those who they recruit and 17% are worried about the low literacy skills of graduates.

The Evening Standard has recently initiated a Get London Reading campaign inviting members of the public to become volunteer readers in London schools. The campaign has already received huge support from politicians, writers, illustrators and celebrities. HRH the Duchess of Cornwall as patron of the National Literacy Trust has also leant her support.

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CBI: Students want universities to better explain employability skills

The importance of students learning ’employability skills’ in the classroom was highlighted last week with the results of the latest CBI/National Union of Students Education & Skills survey.

Just over half of students surveyed (57%) said they want their university to do more to help them with employability skills – including numeracy, teamwork, self-management and business awareness.

The results showed that employability skills are “the single most important consideration for 82% of businesses when recruiting graduates. However 70% of employers said that university students need to do more to prepare themselves to be effective in the workplace.”

CBI Director for Education & Skills, Susan Anderson said, “Competition for jobs is intense and graduate unemployment remains high, so students need to proactively develop relevant employability skills. But at the same time all universities need to explain these skills better and make sure they embed them in teaching.”

Nationwide Education (www.NationwideEducation.co.uk) is currently developing an Employability Skills programme, due out this summer. It will focus on teaching all ages (in particular secondary school students and above) about the world of work, and the key employability skills they will need to enter it.

To read more about the CBI results you can view the press release here:

MG, Account Manager

School leavers lack key employability skills

A survey published by the Confederation of British Industry highlights the lack of key employability skills in the majority of young school leavers. Key areas of concern are English, numeracy, self-management and the growing decline in students taking STEM subjects.

A spokesman for the Department of Education agreed that it is right for employers to raise concerns and commented that the Government are commited to “The recruitment of specialist maths teachers, introducing phonics-based reading for six-year-olds and restoring the rigour of GCSE and A-level exams” in order to help improve matters.

See the full BBC news story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-13310246

Nationwide Education will soon be launching an Employability  resources for ages 4-16 helping to develop key employability skills in students and to encourage career aspirations. Keep checking the website for more details. www.NationwideEducation.co.uk

Careers advice is failing a generation of school leavers

New research commissioned by Future First into social mobility and careers advice, has found that a generation of young people is being let down as a result of bad careers advice at school.

The poll, conducted by YouGov, revealed that 64% of adults said their school careers advisors had not been important in helping advance their careers and only 13% of young people said their careers advice had been important in helping them access a job.

The research also reveals the concerns of 16-19 year old students – 70% of whom believe it will be difficult to gain access to a good career and 39% who said they don’t know anyone with a career they would like to do.

Jess Cordingly, managing director of Future First said, “With youth unemployment at a record high and social mobility stagnating, this research is a wake-up call that should lead to meaningful change in the provision of careers advice.” She added, “Access to role models is key to social mobility and we are at risk of limiting the prospects of 600,000 young people this year alone, by not providing credible careers advice.”

Read the full report at Future First.

Nicki, Business Director

StartUp Britain launched to boost UK enterprise

David Cameron PM, today launched ‘StartUp Britain’, a private sector response to the Government’s call for an “enterprise-led” recovery.

The new initiative has support from the Coalition Government and leading international brands including Barclays, BlackBerry, Experian, Intel, Microsoft, McKinsey & Co. and Virgin Media. It aims to provide the best support and advice for startup companies and will be led by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.

With over 270,000 new businesses setting up each year, StartUp Britain aims help drive growth by accelerating, inspiring and celebrating Britain’s start-up talent.

Visit the StartUp Britain website to find out more.

Nicki, Business Director, dbda

Unemployment rises to 2.5 million – a 17-year high

Unemployment has risen to 2.53 million, the highest it has been since 1994, with the rate of youth unemployment soaring to a 20-year peak. Ministers, however, are keen to highlight the expansion in private-sector employment over the past year, up 428,000 and in line with the Coalition’s aim of “rebalancing” the economy. One factor may be that record numbers of older people are working beyond retirement age. The Office for National Statistics points to a rise of 200,000 in the number of over 65-year-olds in work since 2009, bringing the total to 900,000.

Source: Telegraph

Michelle, Account Manager

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