In the UK, and across much of the world, there is an obsession with paper qualifications. As I have said before, they often merely supply just a snapshot-in-time measure of a narrow band of capabilities of a person. Yet they are promoted to be the vital components of education required to compete with others. The quote I offer below shows that someone without decent qualifications but with job and life skills may sail into jobs that the qualified flunk.
It is from “Among the Hoodies” by Harriet Seargent, referring to a business start-up guru called Scott :
The year before, Scott had interviewed 52 graduates. On paper they looked ‘brilliant students’. Each had three A’s at A level and a 2:1 degree. He shook his head. ‘There’s a big difference between people passing exams and being ready for work’.
This was obvious even before the interviews began. Out of the 52 applicants, half arrived late. Only 3 of the 52 walked up to Scott, looked him in the eye, shook his hand and said good morning. The rest ‘ambled in’. When he asked them to solve a problem, only 12 had come equipped with a pad and pencil.
The 3 who had greeted him proved the strongest candidates and he hired them. Within a year they were out due to their ‘lackadaisical’ attitude. ‘They did not turn up on time in the morning. For the first 6 months, a manager had to check every one of their emails for spelling and grammar. They did not know how to learn. Their ability to ‘engage in business’ was ‘incredibly’ disappointing and ‘At 5:30 on the dot they left the office.’”
It would seem to me that the highly rated school and University grades should come with good English skills be default.
But it is evidently not the case.
By teaching to the test, and allowing students to use spell checkers to aid their English, they failed to acquire the basic skills.
Where was their education for interviews and a working environment?
The only 3 seen fit to be given a job then failed to turn up on time, as if the ‘education’ they received was a passport to a salary and an easy life. As if they had done the hard work already.