University leavers lack the essential skills for work, employers warn

Large numbers of students are leaving university lacking the basic skills needed to get by in the workplace, according to new research.

More than half of employers said all or almost all graduate recruits started work without vital attributes, such as team work, communication, punctuality and the ability to cope under pressure.

A poll of company leaders found that just under one in five businesses believe graduates are “work ready”.

The conclusions will add to concerns that schools, colleges and universities are too focused on ensuring that young people pass exams at the expense of equipping them with life skills.

Experts also warned that it raised questions over the extent to which universities are spending tuition fee income on programmes designed to get students ready for work, particularly with the cost of a degree rising to £9,000 a year in England.

The YouGov research was based on a survey of 635 employers, including 419 directly responsible for recruiting graduates. In all, 52 per cent of graduate employers said none or few graduate recruits were work-ready when they joined, with 17 per cent claiming none of them were fit for the job.

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About dbda
dbda is a corporate social responsibility consultancy embracing education and safety in the community. We are privileged to work with a large number of blue chip corporate clients, Government organisations, charitable bodies, Institutes and local authorities. We also have a network of schools, professional bodies, associations, universities and partners, with whom we regularly work in collaboration.

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