Colleges' Chief Executive Backs Ready to Work Skills

Marion PlantOur Principal and Chief Executive, Marion Plant, has backed calls to ensure that all young people are ready to work before leaving education or training. 

Marion Plant OBE, joint Chief Executive of North Warwickshire & Hinckley College and South Leicestershire College, made her comments following a CBI survey that found businesses to be concerned about young people’s readiness for work. 

The CBI/Pearson report found that ‘businesses want the education system to better prepare young people with the attitudes and attributes they need to succeed in the world of work’.

Mrs Plant said: “It is absolutely vital that young people are ready for work. At an absolute minimum, that means strong literacy and numeracy skills. But it’s about so much more. We need young people to help businesses grow and to seize new market opportunities. They need to be ready to compete.”

“In our colleges, we have made competition and enterprise part of what we offer our students. Young people who are highly skilled and hungry for success will help the UK to thrive. We are competing against the rest of the world. We need to win. Our future depends upon it.”

The CBI survey found: 291 companies employing nearly 1.5 million people, over half (61%) are concerned about the resilience and self-management of school leavers and a third (33%) with their attitude to work. By contrast, nearly all firms (96%) are satisfied with young people’s IT abilities when they enter the workplace.

Firms want primary schools to focus on developing literacy and numeracy (85%) with around one-third not satisfied with these skills among school leavers. Half (52%) are urging schools to develop a greater awareness of working life among 14-19 year olds with support from businesses. Companies are prepared to play their part with two-thirds (66%) willing to take on a larger role in the school careers system.

Further information on the CBI report can be found at