Employers have a responsibility to hire young Brits, says head of Ofsted

Speaking at the recent CBI conference in Cambridge, head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw said that employers have a responsibility to train young people in the skills they need for the future.

He called on businesses to set up apprenticeships for young British people rather than bringing in skilled foreign workers.

He said: “I appreciate that if you are facing skills shortages it’s tempting to recruit from abroad. But surely employers have a moral and long-term economic imperative to train people here? Couldn’t you do more?”

“How much do you do to make young people in schools aware of all the different types of work in your company? Have you made a sustained effort to engage with schools and colleges and let them know what opportunities you offer? And finally what would it take to turn a job vacancy into an apprenticeship? It’s easy to bemoan the lack of qualified youngsters, but what are you doing imaginatively to help solve that problem?”

“We are at a watershed moment in the history of our education system. The economy is improving, jobs are more plentiful, and there is cross-party agreement on the need for more high-quality apprenticeships. We therefore have never had a better opportunity to tackle our lamentable record in vocational education if we seize the moment and if employers play their part.”