Employers are concerned that many are entering the working world without the developed life skills necessary for the job, according to a new study. Nearly half surveyed by charity Central YMCA admitted they believe they need to teach basic work skills to a young recruit before they’re comfortable trusting them as a good employee. Believing many young people are left underprepared by the time they reach work, bosses feel more time should be invested in schools to teach children ‘soft skills’ that will benefit them in life.
Revealing that the skills taught for their CVs is often considered the least important thing to these bosses, the study suggests that high emphasis subjects in schools, such as vocational and IT ability, was at the bottom of priorities when looking for a new employee. Many from the investigation admitted they were less interested in academic qualities than they were in simple commonly expected abilities such as listening effectively and managing their own personal finances.
Over a quarter of respondents said that young people often failed to understand the appropriate time to use a mobile phone or social media, with 23% concerned about their timekeeping, as social skills like manners and dressing appropriately mean more to managers. Concerned that the young Generation Z could be underequipped, the charity is hoping more can be done to get youths ‘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,” said Rosi Prescott, chief executive of Central YMCA. “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.”
“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.”