Three in five young people believe education doesn't equip them for the job market

Almost three in five young people believe the UK’s education system fails to equip them for the job market, a new poll shows.

Meanwhile, more than three fifths of 18 to 25-year-olds believe education in the UK leaves them poorly-equipped to build a professional career path.

Polling firm IPSOS surveyed thousands of young people, including more than 500 from the UK, on behalf of the WISE Initiative, which is holding its regional forum in Paris today and tomorrow.

Asked how the education system prepares young people for the job market, 57 per cent said they were left poorly-equipped, while just 43 per cent said they were well-equipped. When asked the same question about forging a career path, 61 per cent said they were poorly-equipped.

And when asked what the education system in the UK could do to improve, young people overwhelmingly favoured development of work experience, with 49 per cent of those taking part choosing this over other options such as project-based learning, improving the quality of teaching or career counselling.

Marianne Thyssen, a European Commissioner for employment, social affairs, skills and labour mobility said she would like every young person to have “at least one hands-on entrepreneurial experience before leaving school”.

“Other vital skills include the ability to reflect upon oneself, effectively manage time and information, work with others, remain resilient and manage one’s own learning and career,” she said.

In the poll, the UK lagged behind Germany, Belgium and Spain in terms of attitudes towards its education system, only narrowly beating France.

The research concluded there was “considerable scope for improvement in the way national education systems prepare young people for the job market”.