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THE UNEMPLOYABLE GRADUATE CRISIS

 

Updated by Hays UAE, October 2016

Across the globe millions of graduates are or will soon be taking their first steps into the world of work, however, a large number of them lack the necessary skills and experience employers want, according to recruiting experts Hays.

Hays’ CEO, Alistair Cox, says many of these graduates may be forced to take on non-graduate roles or in some cases, face unemployment.

He says, “After years of study and expense, what a shocking waste of talent and money and dreams. Year after year however I listen to concerned clients of Hays who are worried that each fresh wave of graduates simply will not possess the skills required to excel in the modern world of work, or even get their foot in the door.”

Alistair states that while employers often look for technical or vocational knowledge first, many students are leaving university or higher education without the experience, as many courses are not geared toward this.

He adds, “Around the world, many graduates simply aren’t employable in the roles being created today, yet will have spent at least three years racking up debt to study a course that will not help them find a relevant role.”

With skills shortages already prevalent across the globe, failing to address the skills of those leaving education will only exacerbate the situation. As Alistair says, “If steps are not taken to address this, then I genuinely fear for our graduates, employers and the global economy. We are already seeing the skills gap widening into a skills chasm.”

As for a possible solution, educational institutes, employers, governments and graduates all have a part to play. Better careers advice is needed in educational institutes, allowing students to consider all options before making an informed decision on their future. Too much emphasis is being placed on league tables too, with educational institutes focusing on targets rather than ensuring young people know what options are open to them.

Alistair adds, “Governments have been too quick to assess educational institutions on grades alone, a short-sighted approach that puts frankly unfair pressure on universities and ignores the long-term economic impact. Our political leaders should instead encourage universities to focus on providing the skills that will be vital to driving employment, businesses and our economies.”

Alistair suggests another potential solution is to make the high-employability courses and institutions free or cheaper, such as those offering training in STEM-related jobs. This would also incentivise younger people into taking such courses.

He also states that businesses must do more to ensure educational institutes are producing the skills needed, “Business leaders should be approaching top colleges and universities, asking how they can help prepare the future workforce with careers advice, informing them which areas their business is struggling to recruit in.”

And finally Alistair says that it is the responsibility of young people to focus on obtaining a skill set that is relevant to the world of work and that will benefit them. Alistair adds, “Students have a duty to themselves to ensure that neither time nor money is wasted on frivolous qualifications that mean little to employers. We need to be encouraging our young people to consider the future jobs market before choosing what to study.”

As the global economy continues to recover, it is essential that we have the skills needed available and ready to join the workforce. As Alistair says, “Success depends on our employers, educational institutions and governments providing the tools and opportunities for young people to take up much-needed skills. We owe our future graduates the guidance they deserve – and they owe it to themselves to choose qualifications that will drive their career and tomorrow’s economy.”

 

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