The Confederation of British Industry, the employers' organisation, made the recommendations in a report released at the start of its annual conference. (19th Nov 2012)
CBI's director general John Cridland said: "In some cases secondary schools have become an exam factory.
"Qualifications are important, but we also need people who have self-discipline and serve customers well. As well as academic rigour, we need schools to produce rounded and grounded young people who have the skills and behaviours that businesses want."
I whole heartedly agree, my daughter is currently taking her GCSE's and the pressure to get higher and higher marks by taking a resit when you already have an 'A' are ridiculous. But I also have to question whether businesses are placing too much emphasis on the school turning out a well rounded person and not enough on their own responsibility to see learning as a lifelong activity and hence give their employees the training and development they deserve.
"We're in a recession, we can't afford to provide training." This is a cry we on the provision side of the fence hear frequently. But there is evidence to suggest that organisations who spend on training in a recession are the first to emerge and grow rapidly at the end of it. It makes sense after all. If you look after your staff and develop their talents whilst your competitors are failing to do so, then your company will be in a much better position to take advantage of an upturn when it does come along.
Not only that, you will weather the storm itself much better. Flexible staff, who are committed to the organisation, inspired by new ideas and commitment from their managers will certainly give more of their best than those who are told "Now's not a good time."