Increasing numbers of employers have been dissatisfied with the standard of graduate applicants attending interviews. Many graduates simply do not have the right skills to prosper in the work environment, rendering a large portion of the young population virtually unemployable.
Due to the fact that the UK education system is traditionally exam-focussed, important skills such as communication, negotiation and common sense often get side-lined in favour of academic achievement.
This leaves University graduates with big gaps in their skill-sets, which puts employers off and greatly reduces the chances of finding a job.
In a bid to reduce unemployment levels and increase the skill-level of the UK’s workforce, a number of international companies have grouped together to support the launch of fifteen new ‘studio schools’.
Employers including Disney, Fulham Football Club, the BBC, Hilton Hotels and Ikea will be supporting the new studio schools, which aim to combine academia with practical training and work experience.
Pupils attending the schools will do at least four hours of weekly work-experience with their sponsor companies, as well as sitting academic classes according to a nine-to-five schedule, reminiscent of an average working day.
The studio schools will hold around 300 pupils each, making them significantly smaller than other schools.
Pupils, all aged between 14 and 19, will be offered GCSEs in English, maths and science, as well as A-levels and vocational qualifications with practical skills. All pupils will be encouraged to apply their knowledge to everyday life in order to prepare them for life after lessons.
There are already two studio schools in operation in Luton and Huddersfield and 11 more are set to open by September 2012.
Officials estimate that by 2014, 10,000 pupils will be enrolled in studio schools across the UK.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “Studio schools benefit both business and young people – they are a brilliant way for employers to become involved in helping give young people what they need to get good jobs.”
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