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CBI Survey: Employers critical of school leavers and graduates

Findings from a CBI survey of employers include:

  • 66% of employers consider skill levels among their employees satisfactory for current activities but 52% are not confident of meeting future needs for increased numbers of high-skilled employees, particularly in science, engineering and mathematics.
  • Only 6% of businesses are confident that careers advice is good enough, while 64% think advice must improve. There is an appetite among employers to play a greater role in delivering careers advice, with 54% willing to do more, rising to 66% of large firms.
  • Companies found school and college leavers lacking in important employability skills, with 69% saying they have inadequate business and customer awareness, and over half (55%) experiencing weaknesses in school leavers’ self-management skills. Two thirds (70%) want to see these made a top priority at school and college.
  • Employability skills are the single most important consideration for 82% of businesses when recruiting graduates, followed by degree subject (68%) and relevant work experience (67%).
  • Levels of employer satisfaction with the employability skills of graduates are higher than for school and college leavers, but 70% of employers say that university students need to do more to prepare themselves to be effective in the workplace.
  • Engagement with secondary schools is a clear priority for employers: 67% of businesses have already established links and 36% have increased their engagement over the last year through work experience, supporting careers advice and providing school governors.

Full report is downloadable from: www.cbi.org.uk/ndbs/press.nsf/0363c1f07c6ca12a8025671c00381cc7/f14c02961d1d92ac8025788800442fdb?OpenDocument

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