Jun 16, 2021

John Lewis boss says young staff lack basic numeracy skills

Young people starting work at John Lewis stores lack basic literacy and numeracy skills, the boss of the department store chain has said. Dame Sharon White's comments were reported in the Times after she spoke to a commission set up by the newspaper to look at the UK education system in the light of the Covid crisis. Some lacked skills beyond the level of a 10 year-old, Dame Sharon said. "To have done 10 years, 11, 12 years of education, and not having, in many cases, functional literacy pretty typically not having functional numeracy beyond the age of, I'd say, 10, 11, means that they may then have fabulous people skills and fabulous skills in terms of operating in a team but that's almost outwith the education system," Dame Sharon told the Commission. There has been renewed debate over whether the UK education system, which is centred around academic qualifications, including GCSEs and A'levels, adequately prepares young people for work.

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