Employers say apprentices need help getting dressed for work

Employers say apprentices need help getting dressed for work


Apprentices need to work a lot harder on developing their professionalism at work compared to graduates, but there are little differences in key skills such as resilience, leadership and dealing with conflict.

Institute of Student Employers (ISE) asked its members about the 76,000 entry-level staff they have hired over the last three years, including graduates, apprentices and school leavers.

The ISE Student Development Survey revealed that employers are almost four times as likely to raise concerns about how apprentices dress for work in comparison to graduates.

Employers are also twice as likely to report that apprentices lack presentation, analysis, IT, writing, problem solving and interpersonal skills.

However, there are few differences between graduates and apprentices in relation to resilience, managing up, leadership, dealing with conflict, self-awareness, career management and emotional intelligence.

This may go some way to explain why more than half (56%) of employers have started to develop apprentices to do work that would have previously been done by graduates.

The importance of work experience in the early stages of a career was highlighted by the fact that 87% of employers agreed that students who had completed an internship had better skills than those who did not. However, there was much less impact from additional qualification with only 19% of respondents agreeing that students who came with a postgraduate degree had better skills than those who had not.

ISE chief executive Stephen Isherwood said: “Employers are getting a better handle on how to best develop apprentices who they recognise are less experienced than graduates. Apprentices need more basic training in areas like presentation skills and how to dress for work.

“Graduates generally arrive more polished with a better array of both technical and interpersonal skills and some cultural capital, but employers are less convinced that they outperform apprentices in more fundamental attributes. As apprentices acquire more skills and experience they may well catch up and outperform those who have been through the graduate route.”

Gemma Donnelly, Future Talent Manager at IG said: “Apprentices are a lot more work in terms of developing their professionalism and attitude. We have a lot more issues with things like time keeping, correctly reporting absences with apprentices and these take up time.”

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

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