Exporters point finger at schools

The UK is losing valuable export business because of failings in the education system, a growing number of experts are warning. Ian Campbell, director-general of the Institute of Export, said introduction of the national curriculum 10 years ago had resulted in big cuts in history and geography studies. `People are leaving school without much idea […]

The UK is losing valuable export business because of failings in the education system, a growing number of experts are warning.

Ian Campbell, director-general of the Institute of Export, said introduction of the national curriculum 10 years ago had resulted in big cuts in history and geography studies. `People are leaving school without much idea about the world,’ he said.

Michael Sanderson, chief executive of the Engineering and Marine Training Authority, said better maths teaching would help exporters. `You need somebody who understands the numbers and will come back with a profitable contract,’ he said. `Pupils and graduates at every stage are lacking the necessary numeracy skills,’ he added.

Last month, the Confederation of British Industry warned that the UK’s competitiveness was being undermined by too few children studying sciences and languages at A level.

To make room for extra maths, Sanderson said: `Personally, I would cut out sport and have them looking at books all day.’

* Career Engineer, p26

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