Companies Growing Concerned Over Skills Shortages, Study Shows

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11th July 2014 17:44 - Business Support

A survey done with 291 companies has highlighted several key concerns when it comes to the mentality and academia of potential job candidates.

The findings showed that more than six in 10 (61%) of those questioned were concerned about the resilience and self-management of school leavers, with one third (33%) worried about their attitude towards work.

While 96% of the respondents said they were satisfied with younger peoples’ IT abilities, one third were not happy with the literacy and numeracy skills that are currently being brought to the table – around five sixths (85%) said they want primary schools to focus on developing these areas.

With the support of businesses, over half (52%) of the survey’s participants said they want schools to raise awareness of working life among 14 to 19 year olds. Two thirds (66%) were willing to take on a larger role within schools’ careers systems to aid this.

In addition, eight in 10 (80%) believed the career advice given to young people was not good enough to help students make informed choices.

According to the survey’s responses, over half (56%) of school leavers do not have enough knowledge on their desired career or job – this figure drops to three in 10 (30%) for graduates. Furthermore, marginally less thought school leavers didn’t possess enough relevant work experience (55%), with almost two fifths (37%) believing this applied to graduates.

Around one quarter (28%) of those questioned who recruit technicians in science, technology, engineering or maths reported already facing employment difficulties, with one third (35%) forecasting problems in the next three years.

Almost three fifths (58%) of the companies are not confident they will have enough well-skilled candidates to meet the future demands of their business.

John Cridland, director-general at the Confederation of British Industry, said: “Businesses feel very strongly that the education system must better prepare young people for life outside the school gates, or risk wasting their talents.

“The journey from school towards the world of work can be daunting, so we must support schools and teachers to help develop the skills, character and attitudes students need to progress in life.”

This research was conducted by the Confederation of British Industry.

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