Back to basics for some teenagers in work

  TopCat® 16:29 20 Aug 2007

Their IT skills apart, I think this a national disgrace when some employers have to spend time and money teaching their youngsters the basics which they should have learned in school.

According to this business survey click here many of them cannot function in the workplace. TC.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:57 20 Aug 2007

As part of the assessment process for taking on new engineering apprentices we ask them take tests, some of which include Maths and English.

This allows us to "weed out" those who would struggle in the further education courses require to complete the apprenticeship.

  Jim Thing 18:25 20 Aug 2007

That problem has been around for a long time I'm afraid.

I remember having a conversation in 1979 or 1980 with the UK national service manager for the high-tech medical systems end of a major European multinational. He told me that, for some years, he'd had approval from his board to recruit five suitable school-leavers each year to be given a first-class training as CRT/MRI scanner technicians. Although these opportunities were much sought after and were advertised nationally, he had been finding it increasingly difficult to recruit his full quota — in fact the preceding year he'd only managed to find three applicants (from a large number of hopefuls) whose maths and English met the required standards. In many cases, he said, the appalling standard of the letter of application was enough to ensure that a candidate fell at the first hurdle.

I've been out of that particular loop for several years, but I don't think the situation has improved much.

  Jim Thing 18:28 20 Aug 2007

For CRT scanner read CT scanner... DOH!

  Clapton is God 18:39 20 Aug 2007

I recently had cause to invite a teenager to interview for a position at the finance company I work for.

He walked into the room, looked at me and said "Alright mate, how are you?"

I thanked him for coming and showed him the way out.

  Chegs ®™ 20:08 20 Aug 2007

We are getting a radio advert asking employers if their staff "measure up" and if they need further training inviting them to contact the training company.It also states that a very high number of employees are badly lacking.

As the radio is on almost 24hrs a day I havent listened to the advert well enough to absorb their intent/message fully(noisy neighbours with leadfeet)

  Colin 20:33 20 Aug 2007

The comprehensive education system started in the 60's didn't help. There will always be bright people & those less bright, but they've all got A levels now. How can you select candidates from qualifications these days?

  TopCat® 21:23 20 Aug 2007

I would say this in answer to the comments in the article by the leader of the NASUWT teachers' union, Chris Keates.

It is true that not 'everyone left school highly literate and numerate.' during the 'golden era' he talks about. Industries of all types thrived then in this country and many with low academic qualifications entered these and made good using their hands. "If you can do the job, then it's yours" was the norm and one was taken on temporarily and observed for a time with, usually, less money. Promotion was then based on merit and the skills gained over time.

Today, most of our heavy and light industries have faded away and the mood of the youngsters has changed too. No one I've ever spoken to has said they would like take a job where they would get their hands dirty. They tell me they want to be famous or want a job in the media, preferably television.

I've no problem with that at all in some cases, but what our country actually needs are new scientists with fresh ideas, engineers to tackle futuristic problems and bright young managers with vision. We will never be able to fill these positions if academic achievement in school fails to make the grade. TC.

  robgf 02:28 21 Aug 2007

The ability to read and write, does seem to be sadly lacking in many youngsters and the situation is steadily getting worse.

My company has been forced to introduce a simple written test, which is taken during the interview. The test questions are irrelevant, we are just checking to see if the applicant has basic English skills.
I don't object to teaching a trainee basic maths (which almost all need), but I draw the line at teaching them how to write!

It does make you wonder what is taught at school, even the much mentioned IT skills seem to be very poor. Few can type properly and most can only play on a computer and have few practical skills.
The majority don't even have the sense to use the spell checker. Although one young lady did explain to me, "I can't use the spell checker, as it always gives several spellings and I don't know which to pick". lol

  BT 07:32 21 Aug 2007

"The majority don't even have the sense to use the spell checker. Although one young lady did explain to me, "I can't use the spell checker, as it always gives several spellings and I don't know which to pick". lol"

And they insist that the Exams are not being 'dumbed down'!!!!

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