Students receiving A-level results at Withington Girls School, Manchester

Quarter of engineering employers say school leavers lack skills

A quarter of engineering employers do not believe that school leavers have skills needed for the workplace, research shows.

As A Level results are released, a study published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) shows that 23 per cent of employers find it difficult to recruit school leavers to engineering, IT or technical roles as they do not meet reasonable skill expectations.

Only 12 per cent of new engineering and technology jobs that are planned over the next year will go to school leavers, the research reveals.

“I’d like to congratulate all the young people receiving their results today, which is the culmination of many years of hard work," said Gareth James, IET Head of Education.

“However, there is a clear need for young people not only to have the relevant qualifications but also the employability skills and practical experience that distinguishes them from their peers."

The IET's partnerships with education providers, businesses and government are in place to ensure that more young people have the right careers information to guide their choices and the opportunities to develop the skills required to enter the world of work, he added.

Apprenticeships also provide an ideal alternative for those who decide university is not the right route for their training and development, James said.

“However, we need to see more available both for those students who have completed their level 2 qualifications such as GCSEs and those who have gone on to take level 3 qualifications such as A levels," he added.

“There also needs to be a higher proportion of apprenticeships offered in the science, technology, engineering and maths subjects."

The IET helps young people towards careers in engineering and related fields through a number of initiatives including the Faraday education programme, awarding £200,000 of scholarships and awards every year, providing resources for teachers, free magazines for schools, and working in partnership with others such as Education for Engineering (E4E) and STEMNET.

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