16/08/12

Commenting after the release of A-level grades for 2012, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“We offer our congratulations to students up and down the country who have achieved their goals at A-level.

“Business will welcome the fact that the constant grade inflation seen in previous years has finally been constrained. Companies tell us that they have had a hard time assessing the skills and abilities of job candidates with A-level passes, to the point that only 29% of businesses surveyed in 2011 felt very or fairly confident in hiring a school-leaver with A-level qualifications. An end to grade inflation will improve business confidence in the qualifications achieved by young people.

“Yet it’s not all about A-levels and university. With university tuition fees rising and many young people looking for alternatives to higher education, business wants to see more media attention and investment in further education and vocational training. Students must feel confident that a high-level apprenticeship is held in the same esteem as a degree, and that the vocational qualifications they achieve are recognised and valued.

“From September, schools will have a new duty to secure independent careers advice for students. Business will be watching closely to ensure that vocational options, including apprenticeships, are given as much attention as the option of going to university.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

In BCC’s 2011 Workforce Survey, when asked how confident they felt recruiting candidates based on their qualifications, 7.3% felt very or fairly confident recruiting a school leaver with no qualifications, and this only rose to 28.6% for school leavers with A Levels or equivalent and 45% for graduates. To view the results in full, click here.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

Media contacts

Liz Larvin
T: +44 [0]20 7654 5813
M: +44 [0]7825 746812
l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
T: +44 [0]20 7654 5812
M: +44 [0]7717682221
l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk