Hands Up

Are schools effective at readying pupils for the world of work?

When you’re at school it seems like the end goal is to obtain the best results you can but once you leave you appreciate their role in readying you for the workplace. Recently, there’s been a growing emphasis on schools providing pupils with the soft skills they need when they become adults, however, a survey indicates that many school leavers lack essential skills.

According to business group Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, 80% of those leaving school lack essential business skills, such as numeracy. The organisation noted that many financial professionals feel as though young people entering the workforce today require significant training before they can begin working. It’s a sentiment that has been echoed by other business leaders in the past. Even if your child chooses to go on and study after compulsory education it can still be a challenge for them to develop the skills that could make all the difference when they’re older and searching for an entry level job.

Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to help your child improve their soft skills while they’re still at school to help them get ahead in the future.

  • Boost their confidence – In any industry confidence is a bonus that will help your child get noticed during the application process and thrive once they’ve secured a position. The best way to give their confidence a boost will depend on the child and their personality, it can be as simple as asking them for their views during family conversations or getting them to join a new group.
  • Create opportunities to socialise – Both written and verbal communication skills are important in the world of work. By creating opportunities to socialise with a wide range of people, your child will become more comfortable communicating and building relationships.
  • Teach independence – Teaching independence can be tricky but it can be best to take small steps and gradually build up as they get older. Independence can lead to better problem solving skills and improved confidence too, both of which are always valued in the job market.
  • Encourage work experience – As they get older encouraging your child to undertake some voluntary work experience can open up a lot of future doors, demonstrating that they can take the initiative and operate in a working environment. If you can find something that they’re passionate about and interested in then that’s an added bonus.


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