Inside Business: It's no time for lectures

For as long as anybody can remember, business people have complained about the quality of their recruits. Just as policemen get younger so, too, the youngsters coming through the education system get less literate and less numerate.

However, there is little doubt that the situation has become worse in recent years, and the Government's recognition of this can be seen in its attempts to drag up standards. The problem is fundamental and only an overhaul will do.

Like the business community itself, the education system has suffered from complacency, lack of drive and not a little arrogance. Indeed, it could be argued that a large part of the problem has been the long-held view that teaching is something far too precious to be dirtied by contact with industry.

It is because that view is still around that last week's report from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce is potentially so important.

Written by Valerie Bayliss, a former director of youth and education policy at the Department for Education and Employment and author of last year's RSA paper "Redefining Work", the "Opening Minds" document challenges just about every aspect of the way in which schools are currently run and outlines a new competence-led curriculum and assessment system that fully integrates information and communications technology.

Reflecting that teachers have added their voices to those in the business community who have been expressing concern about what young people learn and how they do it, the report - subtitled "education for the 21st century" - calls for a debate on the purpose of education and repeats the theme of last year's document, that there is no point in preparing people for a world that no longer exists.

Indeed, it expresses the RSA vision of wanting an education system that will help every young person to develop the skills needed to become a successful, active citizen.

"Reforming the curriculum so that it is competence led instead of information led is the most effective way of doing this," the report says.

This is all very sensible, and many leading companies have realised this for a long time. Having discovered that sitting people in training rooms listening to lecturers does not necessarily deliver the results they are seeking, they have been using workshops and applied information technology to deliver more relevant and powerful training for some time. Some, such as Unipart and Motorola, have even gone as far as to establish their own forms of corporate university.

It is a shame that the education system is apparently still having to be convinced that this is the way ahead. But, rather than wasting time in pointing fingers, we should be encouraging more of the sort of initiative that Pizza Express launched the day after the RSA report appeared. It is working with primary schools to help pupils find out about food preparation and storage, and developing projects with secondary school children doing design and technology.

It is not exactly a big deal, but anything that aids the integration of education and work has to be welcomed.

News
people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?