No more than 5 percent of Americans say high school graduates are very prepared for their next steps, whether going on to college or straight into the workplace. That’s according to Gallup writer Brandon Busteed, executive director for Education and Workforce Development. However, respondents do agree on how to address the problem.

Citing a Gallup Communities in the Schools poll, Busteed noted that only 3 percent of respondents felt high school graduates were very prepared for college and 5 percent said they were very prepared for the workforce.

“These findings … reinforce a consistently negative public perception about the readiness of both high school and college graduates,” Busteed explains. “And although this perception paints a rather dreary picture of the performance of our education system, Americans have very clear and consistent ideas (including across political lines) for what needs to be done to improve.”

Respondents to the Gallup poll were asked about solutions, they were clear: “financial planning” and “social and life skills.” Specifically, they said the most helpful programs would be “job shadowing, internships and entrepreneurship opportunities.”

NJBIA has made development of soft skills and preparing students for the working world as one of its biggest priorities over the last several years, as NJBIA member companies have echoed the survey results. NJBIA’s position is that New Jersey needs to create a pipeline of skilled workers to fill the positions that will be needed in the future.

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