Download your free copy of the FE Week 16-page supplement What Employers Want ~ in partnership with Reed NCFE.


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Just what do employers want of prospective workers? What skills do  businesses want them to have picked up and honed? And further, where are we in terms of the levels of these skills and what are providers doing to deliver them? In essence, the next five pages of this supplement seek to address these questions. Firstly, on page three, the umbrella business groups of the Confederation of British Industry, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Local Enterprise Partnership Network were asked simply: ‘What do your members want the FE and skills sector to provide learners?’ There were sector specific answers, but also wider requirements that are drawn out in research from Stemnet.

The new Precarious Futures report from the UK Commissioner for Employment and Skills (referred to in the Reed/NCFE advertorial below) examines the skills of young people in the UK and is on pages  four and five, where it is fully dissected by chief executive Michael Davis.

Outstanding providers feature on pages six and seven, outlining how they’re providing such employability skills. Employers themselves, and the efforts they make to develop employability skills, is covered on pages 10 and 11, before FE and skills-related members of the three main parties outline their views of employability skills on page 12.

The issue of certification of such ‘soft skills’ is looked at by NCFE chief executive David Grailey on page 13, before Ross Maloney, chief executive of Skills Show organisers Find A Future, discusses his experience of employer engagement. Fintan Donohue, chief executive of the Gazelle group of colleges, puts across his experience of bringing the worlds of providers and businesses together on page 14, where Dr Fiona Aldridge, assistant director for development and research, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, also looks at the need for understanding between employers and young  people. Finally, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, the Association of Colleges and the 157 Group discuss their views on employability skills on page 15.