The report (available below for download) takes in many views and surveys some interesting new approaches to the problem. But its overall conclusion is simple - employers, education providers and young people aren't working with or even listening to each other enough (the authors use the phrase 'living in parallel universes'!). Where they do work together (in around a third of cases), employers end up with good employees and young people end up with good jobs.
This reminded me of a conversation I had about 10 years ago with an journalist who was convinced that the best way of getting people into work was the old apprentice model, where local employers worked with local schools and colleges and provided local jobs. He felt that employers had moved from this model in pursuit of short-term profit. It's interesting to see the same ideas coming from McKinsey, albeit in a more global guise!
Schools should be engaged with local employers - and while most are, they are not addressing the wide range of issues suggested in the report. Given the state of youth unemployment in the UK this is probably one of the highest priorities for schools.
How can schools reach out to employers? Invite them to talk to you (and make sure to use any parental and governor contacts!). Don't expect them to offer things straight away but make sure you point out the mutual benefits of working together. Sending a copy of this report might help! And it goes without saying that stories of cooperation will be great for the profile of your school - and the companies involved!