Pre-employment work experience is becoming increasingly important, according to a survey of 1,000 employers carried out by Ambition AXA Awards. Some employers even rate work experience as equal to two, (or more important than) A levels, when recruiting new staff. Almost a third (31 per cent) would value it as highly in a candidate as two A levels, while 26 per cent would compare it with one A level. According to the poll, employers say that the most important factor when employing new staff at entry level is the applicant’s character/personality (62%). The 8th most important factor is possession of a degree, considered most important by 22% of employers. More than half of the employers also said that graduates are not leaving education with the right work skills.