A recent survey by Adecco of 1,000 recruitment firms reveals that more than half think that graduates have unrealistic expectations of the workplace whilst one in three felt that the education system is failing to equip the next generation with the skills needed for businesses in Britain.
The survey also revealed that nearly half of graduates felt that their degree had not equipped them with the skills that they needed to succeed in the workplace. This finding, in addition to the shocking quarter of employers reporting that graduates lack even basic literacy skills, highlights the need for the collaboration between the Government, businesses and educators to ensure the curriculum meets the commercial needs of the economy and the skills needed in today’s businesses.
Other key deficiencies reported were in interpersonal and I.T skills and many employers cited that younger colleagues did not meet the standards in teamwork, working long hours, productivity and loyalty compared to their older counterparts. However employers spoke highly of younger employees when it came to entrepreneurial spirit and the implementation of new ideas.
These disappointing reports come at a difficult time for graduates which show that, at a record high, up to a third of graduate jobs this year will go to individuals already involved in the firm.
The opinion on The Student Room strays from these results, the common belief is that it is not necessarily a lack of skills that prevents graduates securing employment but rather other logistical factors:
‘Your time will eventually come, and because of increased competition now it is EXTREMELY hard to find a job. And you’re right, they do tend to give them to 16-year-olds simply because it’s cheaper.’
‘But it seems every 15-18 year old is employed and they wont have much experience if any at all, so what on earth are they doing that i am not??’
‘Who is going to want me when i am 21 and still can’t even get an entry level job which any 16 year old with no qualifications or experience seems more than able to find??’
Some users believe that from a financial point of view a school leaver is a better option for employers but results of this survey suggest that it comes down to the skills an individual has, regardless of education, and what they can bring to the workplace.
Although a strong academic record is of extreme importance to graduate recruiters it is now becoming more and more important, and valuable, to have the personal qualities that are immediately transferable to the workplace. Aside from the basic literacy, IT and numeracy skills this survey’s results illustrate how important it is for the British education system, despite being one of the best and most advanced in the world, to adapt accordingly to ensure it produces talented and reliable graduates that can excel in the workplace.