As A Recent Report By OECD Shows That Britain's Youth Lack Essential Employable Skills, Halsbury Travel Explains How School Trips Can Help.

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The OECD's 'Skills Outlook 2015' (Released 27th May 2015) Highlighted Concerns That The UK's Youth Is Lagging Behind In Certain Skills Essential For Entering The Labour Market. Halsbury Travel Explains How School Trips Can Help To Foster These Skills And Put Students On The Path To Lifelong Learning.

Students Enjoy a Cooking Lesson

Students Enjoy a Cooking Lesson

Carefully designed school trips can offer students a number of advantages that will help them to develop the skills they need to enter the labour market.

The report stated that across OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) countries, there are currently over 35 million 16-19 year olds who are not in employment, education or training (NEET). What is particularly concerning with regards to the United Kingdom is that the report found that young people in this country are leaving education lacking essential skills, including numeracy, literacy and problem-solving skills. Numeracy skills among UK youth were the second worst of all the countries surveyed, and the gap in literacy and problem-solving skills between unemployed youth and those in work was the widest of all the countries surveyed.

The report highlighted a number of key skills that students should be equipped with when they enter the labour market. These include cognitive, and social and emotional skills, as well as creativity and critical thinking. School trips can be particularly useful in the development of social and emotional skills, which the OECD report points out are being increasingly targeted by policy-makers across the countries surveyed. The report advises that “empirical evidence shows that these skills can be developed through both routine education practices and extracurricular activities”.

In particular, the skills targeted tend to be autonomy, responsibility, tolerance, critical thinking and intercultural understanding. School trips can be highly successful in building on these skills: from the students’ assumption of responsibility for their belongings, spending money and timekeeping; to the respect that they are expected to show to locals with whom they come into contact during their trip. Although very well supported by their teachers and tour operator, undertaking a school trip can be a step towards independence for many students.

The skills mentioned previously are crucial to students’ ability to gain employment. However, young people also need to learn the skills that will allow them to remain in employment and adapt to the many changes that they can expect to experience throughout their career. It is, therefore, essential that students leave education with the skills required for lifelong learning. As the report explains, this is also important thanks to the current climate, in which the skills required by employers are ever-changing. By taking teaching outside the classroom and into the ‘real’ world, students begin to learn the skills that will allow them to continue learning throughout their lives.

Finally, the report does also confirm that employers continue to look to qualifications as evidence of what a candidate can bring to a role. Therefore, it is important that students attain the qualifications they require to secure the jobs they want. One way to ignite and encourage a passion for a subject is to arrange an exciting school trip that will demonstrate to students the real-life, practical applications of that subject, including maths and English.

Tailor-made school trips, such as those offered by Halsbury Travel, can be adapted to suit any curriculum requirements, as well as any budget or time restraints, allowing a greater number of groups to enjoy the benefits of school travel.

Carefully designed school trips can offer students a number of advantages that will help them to develop the skills they need to enter the labour market, including a greater understanding of other cultures and better interpersonal and communication skills. By taking learning outside of the classroom, students will begin to develop the skills required for lifelong learning, which will help them to adapt to the ever-changing labour market and provide them with the resilience required to maintain the career of their choice. Equally important, school trips can encourage students’ interest in a subject, not only contextualising what they learn in the classroom, but also giving them the impetus they need to succeed and gain the qualifications that future employers will be looking for.

Halsbury Travel was founded in 1986 by former French teacher Keith Sharkey, who holds a passionate belief in the value of educational travel. A family-run company supported by a dynamic team of travel experts, Halsbury Travel now carries around 40,000 passengers on 800 tours annually. For further information:

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Katie Sharkey
since: 07/2011
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