School leavers not equipped for industry, warns IET

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A study published this week by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has revealed that a quarter of employers find it difficult to recruit school leavers to engineering, IT or technical roles as they do not meet reasonable skill expectations.

The research, revealed at the same time UK students get their A Level results, also showed that only 12% of new engineering and technology jobs that are planned over the next year will go to school leavers. "I'd like to congratulate all the young people receiving their results, 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." The IET warned that more needs to be done to ensure that young people have the right careers information to guide their choices and the opportunities to develop the skills required to enter the world of work. In addition, James noted the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship over an academic degree. "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," he said. "There also needs to be a higher proportion of apprenticeships offered in the science, technology, engineering and maths subjects."