Posted on 21 August 2013
The planned overhaul of GCSE exams needs to help young people get
the right skills for the workplace say small business owners. Recent
research suggests five in 10 small firms believe young people lack a
good attitude to work as well as other skills such as problem solving.
The Government consultation on GCSE reform has now closed and the
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) believes it is vital that changes
do not just focus on grades alone. Employers need the staff of the
future to have much wider skills, such as communication, problem solving
and a good attitude to work.
Further research by the FSB suggests small firms believe numeracy (37%) and literacy (41%) are skills lacking in young people.
The FSB suggests the Government should consider a pass/fail exam
for these functional skills giving employers a clearer understanding of
Indeed there must be more time in the school day to give students
quality careers education and guidance. More than half (61%) of small
firms are not confident they will find the right young person for the
Finally the FSB stresses how any change to the GCSE system must be
clearly communicated to the 4.8 million small businesses in the UK. They
need to know what exam grades mean when recruiting staff.