There has been, what seems to be, a universal outcry over a recently published report that says a million UK citizens cannot read.
But there is other criteria that is as important as the ability to read and write when recruiting new staff.
Potential recruits, as well as being sound in the three Rs, also need to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and common sense.
What I hear on a regular basis from people in the business community is that a big problem is a lack of motivation.
There is a tendency among a significant proportion of young people, starting work for the first time, to want to come in late and leave early.
This attitude is perhaps fuelled by the fact that the school or college day is usually shorter than traditional working hours.
In fact, one high school head teacher has advocated that teenage pupils should be given an extra two hours in bed to boost their learning abilities, claiming that continuous early starts created "teenage zombies" in the classroom.
He said research showed allowing teenagers to begin lessons at 11am had a "profound impact" on learning
But this is the wrong sort of message to be sending out to students.
Whether at school, college or university, they need to be helped to prepare for the hours that will be expected of them when they get out into the world of work.



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