Why your Gen-Y employees can’t spell

SmartCompany /

Want to know why many of your Gen-Y employees can’t write adequate English?

When they were at school they did not spend a lot of time learning core subjects like reading, writing and spelling.

An OECD report on education shows that Australian school students spend only half the time on core subjects that their counterparts in other industrialised nations do.

This backs up a recent SmartCompany/Roy Morgan Research poll that shows the majority of bosses say that the grammar, spelling and writing of Gen-Ys compares badly to Gen-Xs and baby boomers.

Opposition education spokesman Stephen Smith says the core subjects of reading, writing, maths and science were vital. He says it confirms 11 years of under-investment and neglect by the Howard Government in education, skills and training.

The report also says the Australian curriculum devotes the least amount of time out of the 30 leading industrialised nations to core subjects for nine to 11 year olds and 12 to 14 year olds. And while 29 nations have increased spending by 49%, Australia has decreased spending in public education by 4%.

And it is highly possible that people with English as a second language could end up writing English better than Australians.

As we reported in SmartCompany two days ago, a report by the Group of Eight universities says English is now a basic skill, with up to two billion people learning it as a second language.

English is part of the curriculum in many countries and Australians are competing for jobs with people who are not only competent in English but in several other languages, leaving Australians at a distinct disadvantage.


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