School Leavers Were More Prepared For Work In 1851 Than Today's Students, Study Claims

Young people leaving school in 1851 were better equipped with skills for the job market than school leavers today, a study is claiming.

Victorian schoolchildren were educated in skills which matched the top jobs of the time, such as agriculture, domestic services, textiles and shoemaking.

Today's students, however, leave school with huge skill gaps in relation to the top 10 occupations, according to education providers Learndirect.

More than 4m people in the UK work in the wholesale and retail trade, while 3.3m are health or social workers and 2.6m are in the education sector.

According to Learndirect, while changes in the curriculum partially reflect the different skillsets required by today's employers, there are still "clear legacies of older, irrelevant subjects", as well as gaps around core skills needed in the 21st century workplace.

Dereth Wood, director of learning at the company explained: “In today’s competitive and pressurised business world, employers are crying out for problem solving skills and people who can analyse information and make decisions. More time needs to be spent on learning these crucial workplace skills which will enable people to access the top jobs of tomorrow.

“With the rise of academies and free schools which can set their own curriculums there are now more opportunities to ensure young people are leaving schools with the skills employers are looking for.”

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