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Vocational training needed to fill skills gaps

The majority of employers feel that the government is not doing enough to support skills education, new research by the Edge Foundation and qualification provider City and Guilds indicates.

Of 1,000 employers surveyed, 72% said vocational qualifications were essential for preparing young people for work, 78% said young people need better alternative routes to A levels and 83% thought there should be better advice on career options.

Over half of the employers, 53% said they valued vocational qualifications above academic attainment in prospective employees.

The Edge Foundation and City and Guilds warned that alternative provision is too often low quality, too short, and fails to lead to jobs or further study.

Jan Hodges, of the Edge Foundation, said: “We have skills gaps emerging in many sectors within the UK and it is crucial that young people are given the right training and encouragement to be able to fill these gaps.”

A spokeswoman for BIS said: “Apprenticeships are a proven vocational route to a successful career. We have set out a clear and coherent set of reforms to apprenticeships.

“We will to continue to increase quality, simplify the system and put employers in the driving seat. More than 60 employers from eight different sectors have already signed up to develop new standards as part of the first Apprenticeship Trailblazers.

“We will work with more businesses and sectors over the coming months to develop concise employer-led standards for apprenticeships.”

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