Students frequently don't understand the connection between what they are learning and its use in industry

Enterprise advisers to attract students to manufacturing

Enterprise advisers should be appointed to boost young people's interest in manufacturing, a Tory former cabinet minister said today.

Lord Young of Graffham said the aim would be to provide greater motivation for school pupils and encourage them to see the relevance of what they were taught.

He told peers the advisers could encourage young people to get the basic skills they needed to go into manufacturing work.

"Because manufacturing today doesn't consist of people with screwdrivers but people who can operate computer programmes and look at the way that robots work."

Lord Young has undertaken a review of enterprise education for the coalition government and produced a report last week, which he said today could have a "transformational" effect on education.

The former trade and industry secretary said that 30 years ago up to 30 per cent of young people left the school system illiterate or innumerate and sometimes both.

"And I come back all these decades later and I go round the school system and I see conditions have not changed all that much."

In a debate on strengthening the UK's manufacturing sector, Lord Young said he had no complaints about the curriculum although it could sometimes be "more relevant".

He said the issue was more about motivation and to address this, his report recommended that every head teacher should have an enterprise adviser.

The adviser would bring in speakers to tell children as young as 12 about the relevance of what they were being taught to manufacturing work.

The speakers should not be "captains of industry" but someone who had left school a few years before and started a successful local business.

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