Thanks to Kim Campbell from the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) for the cheery welcome back to the school year.
I’m sure he feels he has something valuable to contribute, but frankly it’s the same tired narrative that is trotted out ad nauseam by similar groups - that teachers are failing to prepare school leavers for the world of work. And of course this is simply another version of the “hopeless young people are going to hell in a hand cart” story that grumpy old buggers have always banged on about.
Credit to RNZ for getting former principal Prue Kelly’s response, which is a good one, that school’s about much more than simply about preparing young people for the workforce.
Another response can be found in the Productivity Commission’s research on why our GDP growth is slower than many similar countries. Their answers have nothing to do with schooling. Two major reasons they put forward are employers’ unwillingness to invest in growing the knowledge based capital of employees, and the low quality of management.
And looking further into the press release from the EMA, here’s another purler: “Overall employers tended to rate the skill levels of tertiary graduates higher than those of secondary schools.”
Quelle surprise. The implication here seems to be that they would like young people straight out of school to come with tertiary level skills – presumably so employers can pay them school-leaver wages.