Young people entering the workplace could suffer due to a lack of competitive spirit, parents and teachers fear.

New research from skills and careers organisation Find a Future reveals that a third of parents and teachers believe that children who have competed against others at school will perform better at work, having developed the “soft” skills required to succeed.

Carole Stott, chair of Find a Future, said:

“We must ensure young people are adequately prepared for their working life. Whether they are competing for a job or for a promotion, or helping their employer win new business, learning how to deal with success or failure effectively is vital to help young people learn and develop their business acumen.”

Parents believe that young people who have taken part in challenges and competitions will be more ambitious (51%) and successful (41%) whether they win or lose.

Nearly two thirds (62%) of parents also say the school their child goes to could be doing more to encourage competitive behaviour. Indeed, nearly a quarter (23%) of parents admit they have complained to the school because there is not enough emphasis on competition and winning and losing.

The findings are released prior to annual skills competition WorldSkills São Paulo 2015. After two years in training, Team UK will take on around 1000 young people from all over the globe to compete for gold in a host of different vocational skills ranging from aircraft maintenance and welding to floristry and visual merchandising.

Stott added:

“As Team UK prepares to represent us in Brazil and compete to be the best of the best, we would encourage the nation to support them as they would our sporting stars and look at ways of reintroducing competition into their own working lives to ensure that all can reach their full potential.”

Do you think competition means better performance?

View Results





Steff joined the HRreview editorial team in November 2014. A former event coordinator and manager, Steff has spent several years working in online journalism. She is a graduate of Middlessex University with a BA in Television Production and will complete a Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Westminster in the summer of 2015.