Think Global - promoting education for a sustainable and just world

Global Dimension

Employers dissatisfied with international cultural awareness

Tuesday May 10 2011

The CBI’s new Education and Skills Survey 2011 shows that employability skills are the most important factor considered when employers recruit.   4 in 5 employers (82%) value these skills.

The survey showed that amongst the poorest performing of the so-called employability skills exhibited by school-leavers were international cultural awareness skills.  

  •          Employers views

Just 1% of employers were very satisfied with school-leavers international cultural awareness, 37% satisfied with 61% dissatisfied.

Employers are not the only ones calling for improvement in these skills.  Parents, teachers and general public are aware of the need for better understanding about people from different backgrounds as the global marketplace becomes ever more interdependent.  However, this doesn’t always filter down to young people themselves. 

  •          Parents views

79%of parents say it is important that young people develop openness to the cultures and perspectives of people from different places and backgrounds, 

  •          The UK public

Near 9 in 10 (86%) of the British public believe that global learning is crucial in schools,

  •          Teachers

81% of teachers feel that schools should teach children about the impact of emerging economies; however, only 42% are confident to do so,

In contrast to the other groups surveyed young people themselves do not instinctively recognise that their future success is tightly bound up with their ability to understand operate appropriately towards people from other backgrounds.  

  •          Young people

Half (50%) of young people think it is a good idea for people from different backgrounds to live together in the same country.  It is clear that we need to do more to help young people understand the consequences for them of living in a globalised world.

  •          Counteracting discomfort with diversity

Learning about global issues counteracts a widespread sense of discomfort about racial and religious difference. Almost half of those who have not experienced global learning in school are uncomfortable with there being so many different races and religions living in Britain today. However, this discomfort falls to less than a third amongst those who have learnt about global issues in school.

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