Firms rate teenagers with work experience

Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

Picture: Habibur Rahman (180146-338)

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YOUNGSTERS in Portsmouth can breathe a sigh of relief as 90 per cent of local employers think school-leavers are full of enthusiasm and fresh ideas.

A survey, commissioned by national training provider Lifetime, shows work experience is rated highly in the city.

More than half ranked a candidate’s ‘hands-on’ experience as the most attractive quality on a CV.

And 61 per cent said young people who have learnt on the job are much more attractive than university graduates.

But the survey also shows 72 per cent of employers think the academic curriculum is not preparing young people to enter the workforce.

And 61 per cent of senior managers say many school-leavers cannot write a letter or create a spreadsheet.

Nigel Wallace, director of training at Lifetime, said it was clear that young people require a ‘stepping stone’, such as an apprenticeship, between education and a career.

He said: ‘Our research shows that companies in Portsmouth do understand the value of employing school-leavers, but still feel that they do not possess the correct skills.’