In the Internet age attention should be given to 14-16 year-olds. Subjects could be reviewed and rebalanced according to current-day relevance, with a reduction in some content to allow room for applied learning, such as what a mortgage is and the basics of business structure and operation, and increased exposure to work experience. Two years preparation before leaving at 16 would enable many school-leavers to be viewed as genuinely employable. Apart from an increase in innovation we may also expect increased productivity in newlyemployed youngsters.
As companies seek to find only the "perfect" fit for every job, they look over many of the most intelligent, diverse and well-rounded individuals available for hire. Where corporations used to offer strong training, growth from within, and a sense of mutual dedication, we have seen a new goal of simply moving "human assets" to suit the corporations' needs. Allowing a greater "skilled immigration" exacerbates the problem rather than solving it. We need a dynamic shift in how corporations look at their hires and how they utilise their workforce. If we continue to look "elsewhere" for solutions to our problems, those solutions will continue to be "elsewhere" rather than where they are needed.
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©OECD Observer No 280, July 2010