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80% of employers value ‘team-working and communicating’  

Our research with educators and employers reveals new insights about what activities are being delivered across the English education system and the impact that they have.

  1. In terms of how it’s delivered, enterprise and entrepreneurship education is embedded across the curriculum in a quarter of secondary schools, outside the core curriculum in over half (58%), available only as an extra-curricular option in 6%, and not offered at all in 3%. By contrast it is embedded across nearly half (49%) of colleges and sixth forms. Sadly we had limited data on higher education.
  2. When it comes to employability skills, employers believe that ‘team-working and communicating’ (80%) is almost twice as important as ‘self-management’, ‘problem-solving’ and ‘understanding the world of work’ (44%).
  3. Educators believe the most effective ways to develop ‘team-working and communicating’ in learners are one-day enterprise competitions (64%), work experience (50%) and longer-term enterprise competitions (46%).
  4. Educators also believe that the most effective ways to improve ‘self-management’ in learners is through work experience (56%), volunteering (39%) and mock interviews with employee volunteers (38%).
  5. Similarly, educators believe the most effective ways for learners to develop ‘problem-solving’ capabilities are one-day enterprise competitions (58%), longer-term enterprise competitions (41%) and work experience (32%).
  6. And when it comes to ‘understanding the world of work’, educators believe the most effective options for learners are work experience (76%), careers talks (76%) and careers fairs (65%).
  7. Employers think that ‘starting-up and running their own business or social enterprise’ is a better way for young people to develop these four skills than doing a part-time job, volunteering or other similar activities.
  8. Educators felt that work experience was the most effective activity for low achievers, borderline achievers, learners with SEN and disengaged learners. By contrast they felt that careers fairs were best for high achievers.
  9. When it comes to activities that improve academic attainment, work experience and one-day enterprise competitions were the top choices among educators.
  10. Lastly, educators saw pressure on the timetable as the biggest barrier to delivering enterprise and entrepreneurship education.

These ten stats are just some of the findings from our newly published survey data, you can find all the raw data and questionnaires here.

These two quantitative and qualitative online surveys took place April-May 2012 with a nationally representative sample of 616 educators at recognised institutions in England and an indicative sample of 131 employer contacts. Both surveys were administered through Pearson online panels as well as via ‘open links’ that were distributed through relevant ‘enterprise neutral’ networks, social media and websites. Respondents were incentivised via a competition to win a Kindle and all responses are anonymous.

Please get in touch with your own views on enterprise and entrepreneurship education, it’s an area that overlaps both education and employment. 

Louis Coiffait is Head of Research in the Pearson Think Tank and in the Office of the Chief Education Advisor, Sir Michael Barber.

Other posts you may interest you:

Enactus shows students the positive power of business

Business meets students at The Student Enterprise Conference 2014

Saving our graduates: why we need to re-think education

CASE STUDY: City and Unruly’s pop-up university for entrepreneurs

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