Business has complained for some time that they are receiving a raw deal from
the UK education system which they say produces too few people with the right
The expansion of topics available at A-level beyond the core subjects,
including accountancy, is not going to solve the needs of business. The best
training for a profession takes place on the job. The CEO of a £100m company
told me recently that not only were degrees in accountancy pointless, so were
degrees in business studies.
So what to do? The answer seems to be staring us in the face. Good old
fashioned English and Maths. If these subjects were to become compulsory
components of A-levels, then I suspect we would see a bit of an improvement in
the quality of our school leavers.
That would mean reforming A-levels. Currently they are too narrowly focused
and there doesn’t appear to be another country in Europe that asks teenagers to
specialise quite so early on. Why on earth do we?
If you want people to add up, teach them Maths not accountancy and if you
want communication skills, focus on English, not media studies.
Gavin Hinks is the editor of Accountancy Age
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