You’ve got a college degree? Great. Work experience under your belt? Even better.
But do you have the necessary skills to enter the working world? (Do you even know what they are?)
Many employers in the UK are worried that college graduates lack important skills, according to CBI and Pearson’s latest education and skills survey.
Josh Hardie, Deputy Director-General of CBI, says improving the skills and ingenuity of people is the best growth strategy a nation can have.
So, let’s get to the root of the problem.
CBI/PEARSON EDUCATION AND SKILLS SURVEY 2017
CBI and Pearson publish an education and skills survey every year, aimed at providing information about current developments in those sectors, whilst also suggesting immersive solutions.
CBI is a business-focused organization based in the UK, giving a voice to firms on a national and international level and working with policy makers.
Pearson, the sponsor of this survey, is a British education publishing and assessment service for schools and corporations as well as for students.
SKILLS GAP OR SKILLS CRISIS?
61% of businesses in the UK are not confident there will be a sufficient number of individuals with the necessary skills to fill their high-skilled jobs.
Conversely, almost three quarters of businesses in the UK (74%) expect to grow their number of highly-skilled employees.
Competition for jobs is high; but competition for employees is high as well.
And the survey notes that another factor contributes to the growing skills gap: Careers advice given to young people is “underwhelmingly poor”.
LEADERSHIP REQUIRED: NOT JUST A BRITISH PROBLEM
As stated by CBI/Pearson, employers expect to need more people with intermediate-level and leadership and management skills (with balances of +34% and +69% respectively) in the future. Results of the Adecco State of the Economy Survey 2017, conducted for the American market, agree with that. Adecco’s report says that 14% of 500 senior executives surveyed think workers in America lack leadership skills.
EMPLOYERS ARE DISSATISFIED
Another issue raised by the CBI/Pearson report is decreased resilience amongst young jobseekers. "Perhaps of even greater concern is that a third of businesses (32%) voice dissatisfaction with graduates' attitudes and behaviors of self-management and resilience”, the report says.
Furthermore, the report shows that 39% of employers are dissatisfied with levels of cultural awareness of job seekers. As many as 40% of employers believe that young people looking to enter the job market don’t have enough customer awareness.
WHICH SKILLS ARE EMPLOYERS LOOKING FOR?
These are the skills employers would like to see in young graduates and jobseekers right now:
• Leadership: The potential to lead and motivate a group by putting traits like innovative thinking, curiosity and commercial awareness to good use
• Self-Management: The ability to work independently and manage your own time efficiently.
• Resilience: The willingness and right mindset to work hard and to motivate yourself throughout tough projects.
• Cultural Awareness: The ability to become aware of your cultural beliefs, perceptions and values, hence being able to put them to use at the workplace.
• Customer Awareness: Being able to educate your customers about your company, in turn ensuring better customer engagement.
WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THE SKILLS GAP?
Adecco’s report says that the majority of American employers (54%) believe that the education system doesn’t teach the skills needed for today’s workforce.
As many as 22% also think that there is a lack of training and enrichment opportunities available to graduates.
Harvard Business Review makes the 21st Century responsible for what they call a ‘middle-skills’ gap. In the 20th century, most people attained relevant skills through a college degree and on the job, supported by union negotiations.
Today, however, unions are declining in popularity and the soft skills provided by college degrees don’t match market demand.
Rod Bristow, President UK & Core of Pearson, sees a similar problem in the UK. He points out the absence of the free labor movement as one of the sources of the ever-growing skills gap and fears that it is about to turn into a real skills crisis.
HOW CI ADDRESSES THESE DEVELOPMENTS
The two main issues that exist in the relationship between employers and graduates are the growing skills gap (which threatens to develop into a skills crisis) and the growing demand in employers seeking leadership and management skills from the workforce.
As an accelerated learning provider, we have a seven-year track-record in preparing graduates for the working world.
Students and recent graduates looking to explore and discover their career path will frequently apply to our Global Explorer Program, hosted over the summer. Graduates of the program leave with the professional skills, experience and connections necessary to find and launch a rewarding career.
All participants cultivate real-world skills and experience to enhance employability with an eight-week, full-time internship.
There are two verticals within the program’s curriculum that help to improve a lack of skills in leadership, and combat perceived poor careers advice.
The Career Navigator Series equips students with the knowledge and confidence to make smart, informed career decisions. After all, in an ever-evolving economy and employment market, it’s critical to make every move count. The course starts with a Graduate Panel Q&A, includes an Acing the Interview workshop and finishes with an intern-supervisor Meet & Greet.
CI’s Future Leaders Series (delivered weekly throughout the 8-week program) provides insight into the skillset required to become a future business leader. This includes thorough company and market analysis, understanding people and productivity, and careful career planning.
Teaching skills isn’t enough; young jobseekers must be mindful of the skills required and act diligently to add these requirements to their arsenal.
Attaining relevant skills to successful join the employment market isn’t easy. The skills gap threatens to evolve into a skills crisis.
At CI, we’re helping students and recent graduates to realize the skills required, and teach them. Our curriculum is governed by the ever-changing job market and partner with companies across 15 global cities to ensure a brighter tomorrow for today’s jobseekers.