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Business leaders in Gloucester say scruffy schools are damaging trade

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 26, 2014

job interview

Some school leavers are lacking key interview skills

Comments (7)

Scruffy school leavers are damaging their chances of getting a job because of a lack of basic skills, Gloucester business leaders have said.

Mark Owen, chairman of the federation of small businesses in the south west and Gloucestershire visits schools to pass on tips to future employees.

He said: “As an older generation, we have failed young people as some have lost the value of good manners, good time keeping and good presentation.

"The schools have to take on some of the responsibility.

"Businesses can form a pre-conception of the quality of the school by how smart their pupils are.

"It does not go for all young people, but some do not know how to dress for a job interview or how to present themselves to prospective employers.

"It is holding back business and will make it harder for them to get a job. In a tough market, the best candidates will stand out.”

Mark, who runs Moose Marketing and PR in Gloucester took on 12 work experience youngsters last year.

An urgent plea for more to be done to close the skills gap with other countries will be made at the annual conference of the Federation of Small Businesses in London tomorrow.

National policy chairman Mike Cherry, whose organisation represents nearly 200,000 smaller companies, said: ‘We have been trailing behind in business globally for far too long because of the skills shortage.

“It is probably the most serious issue facing firms. It’s been an issue for many, many years.

“The low standard of numeracy and literacy skills is a huge problem as is employability.

“Many young people are just not prepared for the workplace in their attitude or dress.

“Careers advice is missing in many areas, while enterprise should be taught in schools.”

Earlier this year the head of the education body Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, said trainee teachers were being sent into classrooms not knowing how to dress or behave appropriately.

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7 comments

  • uk_socrates  |  January 27 2014, 8:37PM

    -2 rating......argue your case!

  • uk_socrates  |  January 27 2014, 3:00PM

    I think this "young person bashing" is becoming a kind of new trend by business owners. Firstly, a lot of the schools don't inspire people, and some of the state comprehensives are more like prisons. Secondly, this fetish with Maths and English is becoming annoying, we have created a thing called calculators and most software applications now automatically correct spelling mistakes. Thirdly, it doesn't help that a lot of entry level jobs are basically robotic tasks which pay minimum wage. Fourthly, even if you work at Tesco, you don't really need to look smart of even have an E in Maths, the till does most of the work. Why we still insist of having manned tills I don't know? This is just a country in a slow state of decline, maybe the reason supermarkets haven't replaced all manned tills with self-service tills is that they know the economy would grind to a halt as supermarkets currently employ a lot of people. Suits are also relatively cheap to purchase these days. Pretty much everyone I know will attend an interview in either a suit or if it's a very warm day in the summer maybe a shirt and tie and black trousers. Do we still need to wear ties? They don't really do anything? Also who decides what is smart and what isn't smart? Are suits smart because they are symmetrical or are they smart because a person over there says so? Or is a suit smart because of the straight lines and lack of branding and logos?

  • Moietmoi  |  January 27 2014, 8:17AM

    Walker, I believe that number is referring to the 1 week work experience that all Year 10/Fourth Year Students undertake as part of the curriculum. In which case that's pretty good going. Many businesses complain that school leavers are not prepared for working life, yet few of them take students on in this manner, leaving it to organisations like Moose Marketing to do it instead. Businesses want people "ready for work" but make no attempt in investing in them to be so.

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  • Walker100e  |  January 26 2014, 8:55PM

    "Mark, who runs Moose Marketing and PR in Gloucester took on 12 work experience youngsters last year." Really, 12? How many employees does Moose have? I'm just curious because surely "work experience" is supposed to be about trying to teach these kids about what life is like in the workplace. Surely they need at least one to one training. Has Moose got sufficient numbers of employees to do that?

    |   -23
  • gloscityguy  |  January 26 2014, 6:35PM

    Let's be honest. some schools are there to teach children how to achieve, and others are there to teach children how to be happy doing mindless, repetitive tasks for 8hrs a day. we have always needed masses of people to grow up to work in low paid, mundane tasks. and is why the people who run the country all came from the same oxbridge universities. So, if you can't afford that, when looking at schools for your children, at least try and get them into the one where they'll be taught how how be a manager, and not work at the checkout. So in Gloucester, more Tommy Rich's/St Peters and less Oxstalls

  • SELINA30  |  January 26 2014, 6:14PM

    Nothing to do with the governments failed economic policy.

  • citon  |  January 26 2014, 5:22PM

    Quite right. I had potential employees come to me with a face full of metalwork and looking as if they had slept in a hedge. The best of that batch of applicants was not able to tell me what 10% of £50 was without recourse to a calculator. I did take him on and he turned out to be a two faced little troublemaker. Lesson learned about young applicants. Never again.

    |   1

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