British schools do not prepare "overeducated" young people for business, says Branson

Joe Williams , 22 Dec 2010


British students are overeducated and UK schools do not prepare young people for the world of business, according to industrialist Richard Branson.

The Virgin group founder made the comments to a seminar in China in 2008 — the contents of which have surfaced as a result of the publication of US-diplomatic correspondence by the website Wikileaks.

According to The Daily Telegraph, US ambassador Clark Randt wrote to colleagues that Chinese attendees had complained that their British counterparts were "overeducated, too conservative, lacking passion for entrepreneurship and too afraid of failure".

"British billionaire Richard Branson agreed that British entrepreneurs are overeducated and that schooling does not prepare one for entering the business world," Randt wrote.

Reacting to the revelation, Marius Frank of education awards body Asdan said: "Branson is not the first business leader to give poor marks to our school system for not preparing young people for success in business. It's time we sat up and started paying attention."

"Unless we listen to our country's top employers we run the risk of leaving the next generation of employees unprepared to face the challenges of a rapidly changing global marketplace."

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