‘More work needed to prepare kids for jobs’

AVDC Cllr Pearl Lewis
AVDC Cllr Pearl Lewis
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Businesses want schools to do more to prepare Vale youngsters for the workplace, an investigation by a group of district politicians has found.

The group found young people are not being made aware of apprenticeship opportunities and that schools are not providing them with the skills that they require in the workplace.

The findings were reached following consultation with Arla, lobby group Bucks Business First and a number of education organisations.

Conservative councillor Pearl Lewis, who leads the economic scrutiny committee behind the research, said: “We heard that there’s all this fantastic work going on with apprenticeships and training courses, but it’s proving a challenge to get the schools linked up with what’s happening in that area.”

The committee believes that young people are being left unaware of the range of more vocational opportunities available to them.

Miss Lewis said: “Aylesbury Vale has all these fantastic things happening, for example at Arla where they train up people to work in the dairy industry from scratch, 
that needs to be celebrated more to let our young people know that A-levels and university aren’t the only paths to take.”

A promotional campaign targeting young people is being considered, as is an award scheme to reward local businesses that take on and train new apprentices.

The scrutiny committee also found that the local business community is not satisfied with how schools in the area are preparing their 
students for the working world.

Miss Lewis said: “The businesses feel that the education system is not really teaching our young people the skills that are required in the work place.”

A lack of dialogue between employers and schools is seen to be the main cause of this and the committee has recommended a conference in the new year to find a solution.