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.

£20k lure for maths graduates to be college teachers

Maths graduates are to be offered £20,000 to teach in England’s further education colleges, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says.

Grants of around £9,000 will also be available to graduates who opt to teach English or work with those with special educational needs (SEN) in colleges.

Ministers want to improve the numeracy and literacy skills of those studying vocational courses at FE colleges.

Unions said the move proved good graduates were not queuing up to teach.

The announcement by the BIS comes amid concerns from employers that employees have poor maths and English skills.

Around 8.1 million people – 24% of the working-age population in England – lack basic maths skills, the government’s most recent Skills for Life Survey suggests, while 5.1 million (15%) struggle with literacy.

How to find a graduate job using social media

Using social media wisely at university can help land the perfect graduate job. young person using tablet

For most students, using social media and applying for graduate jobs are entirely separate activities. After all, status updates about your “excellent communication skills” and A* in English Literature are as likely to interest your friends as embarrassing drunken photos are likely to impress prospective employers.

But get it right and social media can play a key role in landing the perfect graduate job once you leave university.

Over 90 per cent of employers will use social recruiting, and among the many tools available to students you would do well consider your professional online brand using LinkedIn. From a professional-looking photo, keyword-aware headline statement and summary section, to identifying your top skills and achieving an ‘all-star’ profile, there are many aspects to building an online presence that reflects your career ambitions.

‘Tech Bacc’ aims to boost status of vocational courses

Plans to raise the status of vocational courses in sixth forms and colleges in England are to be unveiled later.bricklayer

Teenagers will gain a “technical baccalaureate” by showing abilities in maths, literacy and achieving a high level vocational qualification.

The aim is to give the new performance measure for schools and colleges the same status as A-levels.

Some universities and employers have complained current vocational education is of questionable quality.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock said the technical baccalaureate would be a “mark of achievement”.

The “Tech Bacc”, to be launched on Monday by Mr Hancock and Education Secretary Michael Gove, is intended to reinforce the value of technical and vocational training and qualifications taken by 16 to 19-year-olds.

University degree ‘worth less than some apprenticeships’

A university degree is worth less than some apprenticeships, according to a survey which found that most employers would prefer to take on a “higher apprentice” than a graduate.graduation

Qualified apprentices scored four per cent higher on an “employability” scale than university graduates, and 15 per cent higher than the average of all other types of qualification.

People who had completed so-called “higher apprenticeships”, a new scheme which combines on-the-job training with education for school leavers, were considered 25 per cent more employable by a group of 500 employers.

Subjects in which the programme is available include Contact Centre Operations and “Work based learning for Practitioners” along with more traditional courses such as Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The survey was commissioned by the Department for Business as it launched an online guide to higher apprenticeships in 41 subjects which will be available to school leavers this year.

Employers rated on a scale of one to 10 how employable they considered people with a variety of different qualifications to be, with one being the least employable and 10 being the most.

People with higher, or degree-level, apprenticeships scored 7.98 overall while university graduates were ranked second highest with 7.58. The lowest scoring group was people with only GCSEs, who scored 5.14.

Higher apprenticeships allow participants to earn a wage while studying towards a degree-level qualification, and are offered by a range of businesses including management consultancies, public relations firms and science and engineering companies.

%d bloggers like this: