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Charlie Duff

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Tesco picking up pieces of ‘woeful’ education system


Standards are so low in schools that employers and HR departments are forced to pick up the pieces, claimed Tesco’s chief executive in a recent speech to grocery retailing body IDG.

Tesco’s chief executive, Sir Terry Leahy, called on the government to increase schooling standards and simplify the education system for the sake of British business.

Sir Terry emphasized the need for the government to deliver better education to the future workforce – today’s schoolchildren.

He said: "As the largest private employer in the country, we depend on high standards in our schools, as today’s school children are tomorrow’s team: they will be the ones we need to help build our business."

He continued: "Sadly, despite all the money that has been spent, standards are still woefully low in too many schools. Employers like us, and I suspect many of you, are often left to pick up the pieces."

HR departments provide all sorts of education and training to their workforces from language and skills training to financial education and numeracy qualifications.

A central theme to Sir Terry’s comments was one of simplification. "One thing that government could do is to simplify the structure of our education system. From my perspective there are too many agencies and bodies, often issuing reams of instructions to teachers, who then get distracted from the task at hand: teaching children."

The conference theme of recession led the retail giant executive to call for less regulation of business to create jobs and encourage innovation. He declared: "Today’s recession can best be tackled if businesses – of all sizes, from the street stall to Tesco – are not burdened with more tax and more regulation. Both spell higher costs, less investment and fewer new jobs. And that, in turn, spells less revenue to help the Treasury pay back the debt."

Has your organisation found the same issue as Tesco? Do you provide education to your staff? Tell us in the comments below.

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Charlie Duff


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