Employers in the UK, including Simon Biltcliffe, founder of marketing company Webmart, have criticised the country’s education system for its failure to provide the range of “soft skills” necessary in the current economic climate. Biltcliffe, who regularly trains new starters in his company, has criticised the system as “not fit for purpose” as automation and artificial intelligence demand more creative skills and adaptability from employees. However, experts, such as those at the Edge Foundation, which aims to improve links between industry and education, suggest that the focus on the UK’s education system has shifted to memorisation for tests, limiting creative thinking and practical learning. Among the positive developments highlighted in the report is that new project-based schools are starting to emerge, such as XP School in Doncaster, while some are campaigning for a change in the apprenticeship funding levy. The shortage of skilled workers has also worsened since the UK’s departure from the European Union, with record levels of unfilled vacancies reported last year.
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