Survey shows lack of workplace skills in young people

The new University Technical College Warrington (UTCW) is backing the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) recommendation that stronger links must be formed between educators and business, better to prepare young people for work.

The BCC’s Workforce Survey* published this week shows that 88% of businesses overwhelmingly feel that many young people are not adequately prepared for the workplace, with more than 76% believing a lack of work experience is the reason.

Project supporter, Lynda Moore comments:  “This report clearly shows that employers are crying out for young people who are ‘work-ready’.

“Working with employers in the region, we will be preparing our young people to be successful employees of the future. Our students will be working closely with our employer partners from day one, to ensure they become skilled, qualified and experienced.

“They will follow a curriculum designed and delivered in conjunction with employers to ensure the students experience realistic challenges and produce innovative solutions.  In addition to work experience placements, they will work on real-life projects, created and assessed by employers, in workshops that will be based on real working environments with industry standard equipment. “

John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “This isn’t about pointing the finger at young people – it is a joint responsibility between businesses, the education system and Government to provide the right skills and support that young people need to make it in the world of work. It is vital that we proactively build a pipeline of young talent who will go on to become the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs, as failure to do so could damage the UK’s future growth prospects and risk a lost generation of young people.”

University Technical College Warrington (UTCW) Garners Unprecedented Support

With a year to go until the opening of the new £10m University Technical College Warrington (UTCW), the engineering and energy specialist College, has received overwhelming support amongst the community.

The findings from the UTCW’s recent Public Consultation Report, shows that of the 530 respondents, 98% of parents/adults and 94% of employers believe that it is important for the young people of Warrington that UTCW offers an alternative education for 14-19 year olds, with a focus on energy and engineering.

UTC Warrington is a Government funded college, sponsored by the University of Chester and supported by Warrington Borough Council, that offers 14-19 year olds the opportunity to integrate technical, practical and academic learning in a way that just isn’t possible in a traditional school environment.  UTCW has secured the backing of 35 local employers, ranging from FTSE100 listed organisations to SME consultancies.  These include Sellafield Ltd, the Boulting Group and AMEC.Employers are heavily involved in the development of the curriculum, which ensures that students can develop the abilities and employability skills that local employers require.

One parent interviewed commented: “As a parent of a Year 6 pupil, I consider it to be important to develop skills which are in need locally. It will also help young people reach their aspirations and provide choice.”

The report also highlights what the community perceive as the core strengths of the UTCW which includes the links with local employers, technical skills and training, employability skills, career related projects and opportunities to progress to university, an apprenticeship or employment.

One employer commented: “The current education system has left us with a skills gap that threatens our economy. UTCs are addressing this shortage and giving young people the chance to be employable.”

The significant majority of people interviewed also agreed that the specialism on energy and engineering made complete sense for the region, with one respondent commenting: “The UTC will help with the skills shortage for engineering which is vital for Warrington to keep business in the region.”

Commenting on the Consultation Report, UTCW Principal Catherine Collier, said: “We are delighted by the outcomes of the Consultation Report which demonstrates the support we have from all sections of the community. It is clear that the UTCW is very much in demand and will have a significant impact on the futures of young people, employers and therefore the overall economic prosperity of Warrington. We have a very clear mandate in going forward.”

You can download the full version or a summary below:

UTC Warrington Consultation Survey Full PDF
UTC Warrington Consultation Survey Summary PDF