Young people ‘lack basic skills for work’, employers claim


Young people are entering the workforce underprepared and lacking basic soft-skills, according to a survey of employers carried out by charity Central YMCA.

According to the findings, half of employers believe young candidates need to improve the basic life skills they require to be a good employee.

Among employers’ top bugbears were young people’s failure to understand appropriate mobile phone and technology usage in the workplace, along with poor timekeeping and punctuality.

Employers also called for improvements in young people’s job commitment, ability to manage their personal finances, and listening skills.

Rosi Prescott, Central YMCA chief executive, said: “Young people will make up the next generation of our workforce, so it’s essential they’re equipped with the skills to ensure they’re work-ready. Good quality apprenticeships can really drive change here – a means of arming young people with the soft-skills that traditional education sometimes may fail to address.

“Of course, that doesn’t mean that employers don’t have a responsibility to help in solving the problem. They must be more upfront about the skills their business needs in order to grow, and better interact with young people and education providers to make this known.”

According to the survey, what is currently taught in schools is not necessarily what employers want from employees – with vocational and IT skills at the bottom of employers’ lists of requirements.

Prescott added: “We’re now facing a robotic revolution in which 35% of existing jobs are due to be automated by 2036 – meaning future skill requirements are becoming less and less clear. As a result, we’re currently engaging with ministers, employers and schools to figure out how we can meet employers’ needs in this new age.”

The survey wasn’t all bad news, as it revealed over half of employers believe young people are eager to learn and develop their skills, and more than a third said that they bring enthusiasm and passion into the workforce.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

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