Graduates are not work ready

Higher education institutions need to be doing more in preparing graduates for the real world of work

According to research conducted by Pearson Business School, showed that 20% of graduates are lacking skills such leadership, negotiation and planning skills.

Only 13% of graduates were regarded as ready for the workplace while over 66% were seen as “somewhat ready” for work.

The key skills HR professionals believed the graduate workforce was lacking included leadership (cited by 48% of HR managers), negotiation (44%) and strategy and planning (38%). However, they were seen as well-equipped with teamwork skills (cited by 76% of HR professionals), problem solving (76%), communication skills (75%) and research abilities (75%).


Roxanne Stockwell of Pearson College said:

“These results show that employers are increasingly looking for applicants who have developed employability skills and have gained experience whilst studying for their degree. There have been great gains in recent years in integrating higher education with industry, but clearly there is still more to be done.

“In a competitive graduate marketplace, firms are increasingly looking for applicants who have real world experience of the workplace. Higher education institutions need to do more to give students the chance to gain the workplace experience that is vital in today’s job market through building strong links with local businesses and leaders in the industry.”

The survey also showed that new graduates do not feel prepared for the recruitment process once they left university. Under 25% undertook a mock interview while studying, while only 37% had spoken to a career adviser.

61% of HR managers consider that relevant work experience is more important than the grades achieved by the graduates.