Graduates aren't skilled enough, say employers

Boy in office

Half of employers don't think graduates have the skills to start work.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) spoke to 174 organisations about the quality of candidates straight out of university.

Chief executive of the AGR, Stephen Isherwood, says people skills and a "fundamental understanding" of the world of work are often lacking.

He says more need "the ability to work with people and get things done when things go wrong".

We asked graduates what they wish they had known when they first got their jobs.

Isobel, graduate trainee

Isobel works for multi-national, KPMG.

She thinks there needs to be an emphasis on employers making changes too.

"I think they should give staff, particularly new staff straight out of university, a bit more mentoring and hand holding.

"You are a bit of a fish out of water and there are so many skills that you can't learn in the classroom which you have to pick up at work".

Gonzalo, financial analyst

Gonzalo Ponce Pestana graduated with an MA in International Business in 2015.

Now he works for multi-national finance giant Thomson Reuters.

Other than how to use Microsoft Excel properly, he mainly wishes he was taught how to work well under a boss.

Will, graduate training in sales

Will, who quit his graduate training scheme

"I actually dropped out of my graduation training scheme after six months," says Will.

"It just wasn't right for me. And I think that's just as important as whether you've got the right skills.

"You've got to make sure the grad scheme is actually right for you."

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