Are school-leavers ready for work at 16?

According to new research from Personnel Today, in association with learndirect, almost nine in 10 employers think that school-leavers are not ready for work at the age of 16 and are struggling to create suitable roles for young people.

This is despite one-fifth of employers citing an ageing workforce as a large concern. Employers were impressed by the digital skills of young people yet many said that lack of life-skills and confusion over funding acted as barriers. Many wanted more support in preparing young people for the workplace.

Dereth Wood, group director of learning, policy and strategy at learndirect, said: “Taking on a young person straight from school can seem like a daunting prospect for a business. They often lack work experience and the skills which develop as part of that, such as communication, teamwork and generally knowing how to behave professionally in the workplace.”