Date sent: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 01:32:09 -0500 From: Gloria Hoffman <ghoffman@bellatlantic.net>

(note - 31%, the highest number, said that craft/trade skills were not needed - this is the largest part of traditional apprenticeships that a student would not get from an academic education)

The following information was provided to me from the area school to work partnership.  1500 busineses were sent a survey, but only 124 businesses responded (an 8.3%response rate).  The types of businesses surveyed were retail, manufacturing, financial services, construction, and food service.  Most of the responses (85) were from the category "other", but other was not defined.
 

       In addressing the required general qualifications for high school graduates for employment in businesses, the survey requested responses in the three areas of  academic competencies, behavioral characteristics and high school experiences. The responses tothe need for the core academic competencies confirmed that businesses expect employees to read, write and do basic mathematics (Figure 6).

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS OF HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE
COMPETENCIES

                 Level of Requirement 
              (Percentage of Responses) 
                             Critical or Very            Not 
Competency                     Useful         USEFUL     Required 
Learning Comprehension        96.4%         3.6%          0% 
Reading Comprehension         95.6%         0.4%          0% 
Interpersonal Communications  92.8%         6.3%          0.9% 
Basic Mathematics             88.4%         11.6%         0% 
Writing Skills                87.6%         11.5%        0.9% 
Decision Making Capability    87.6%         9.7%          2.7% 
Computer Familiarity          82.3%         12.4%         5.3% 
Craft/Trade Skills            44.9%         23.8%        31.3% 

Figure 6

But, they also indicate that being able to make decisions is equally important. The level to which high school graduates possess these competencies, as reported by this sample of employers, illustrate either a real or perceived gap (Figure 7). This data suggests that the ability to make decisions, seen as fully meeting the needs of employers 10.3% of the time, is the competency least often fully met.

DEGREE THAT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES POSSESS REQUIRED COMPETENCIES

                                                Meets Our Needs 
                                                (Percentage of Responses)
                                                 Competency: 
                              Does                                Do Not
Competency:                   Fully      Partially    Not         Know 
Reading Comprehension         35.5%      47.4%        3.9%        13.2% 
Basic Mathematics             27.4%      47.9%        9.6%        15.1% 
Learning Comprehension        21.8%      50.7%        14.5%       13.0% 
Computer Familiarity          21.1%      47.9%        11.3%       19.7% 
Writing Skills                20.8%      41.7%        23.6%       13.9% 
Craft/Trade Skills            19.4%      30.6%        12.9%       37.1% 
interpersonal Communications  12.8%      51.4%        21.5%       14.3% 
Decision Making Capability    10.3%      45.6%        26.5%       17.6% 

Figure 7
 

Gloria

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