Lessons Learned From Getting Students Ready for Work


Formal Educaation

Preparing Students for the Workplace

Globally, 200 million people are unemployed, of which more than 70 million are under 25 years old. Still, employers say they struggle to fill job vacancies with skilled workers.

These claims come from the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund’s 2015 annual letter.

global unempoyed

The organization, also known as PALF, partners with education entrepreneurs who are working to understand the best ways to both educate today’s young people and fill tomorrow’s jobs.

“We’ve gained valuable perspective on preparing students for the workplace,” the report says.

Here are three insights presented in that annual letter:


“Unemployment continues to be a major issue across the world as employers struggle to fill jobs with sufficiently skilled labor, and this problem is even more urgent in emerging markets in Asia and Africa where the labor force is growing exponentially.”


“Across emerging markets, the current educational infrastructure struggles to find ways to engage young people on a path to productive employment.”

“Vocational education is often looked to as the answer …. Although spending in the vocational space is significant and growing, the current state of this kind of education is often antiquated and not well suited to the 21st century economy.”

“Many students leave jobs within the first few months after finding themselves unprepared, or are pushed out by employers who will take a chance on a fresh batch of replacements.”


“We’ve often thought of secondary, higher, and vocational education as distinct fields with unique purposes, but it’s now time for a little more flexibility and cross-pollination between them.”

“The core critical thinking, leadership, and language skills fundamental to the job market are largely missing from much of today’s K-12 and tertiary system in most developing countries. We believe secondary and tertiary providers will increasingly look for partnerships with businesses and development agencies that more directly prepare their students for the 21st century workforce.”

turn tide