A level students are not equipped for the industry

Engineering firms are finding many school-leavers still lack the skills required for a career in industry.

Published in the week when UK students get their A level results, research from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) shows that 23% of employers find it difficult to recruit school leavers to engineering, IT or technical roles as they do not meet reasonable skill expectations.

“I’d like to congratulate all the young people receiving their results this week, which is the culmination of many years of hard work,” said Gareth James, IET head of education.

“However, there is a clear need for young people not only to have the relevant qualifications but also the employability skills and practical experience that distinguishes them from their peers,” said James.

The IET also found that only 12% of new engineering and technology jobs will go to school-leavers this year.

The IET wants to see the government making more apprenticeships available as a career option for students who may choose not to go to university.

“We need to see more available both for those students who have completed their level 2 qualifications such as GCSEs and those who have gone on to take level 3 qualifications such as A levels,” said James.

“There also needs to be a higher proportion of apprenticeships offered in the science, technology, engineering and maths subjects," said James.

Richard Wilson
Friday 19th August 2011

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