Skilled and Ready: what combined authorities want from schools (FORUM 2)
Author: RICHARD HATCHER
The purpose of combined authorities, driven by government, is economic growth and public sector reform. Economic growth requires improved productivity. The main obstacle, it is claimed, is a ‘skills deficit’, which schools need to address. In this article the evidence for this claim is examined. The real problem, it is argued, is a structurally low-skill, low-investment economy. What employers want from ‘non-academic’ school leavers is basic skills, ‘soft skills’ and positive attitudes to work. The contradiction with the Government’s EBacc-dominated curriculum creates a space for ’employability’ programmes in schools which may be promoted by combined authorities.