Recruiters raise the bar for fresh graduates

Gap years are on the rise amongst UK graduates, but the work hiatuses are becoming less of a choice and more of a necessity for many according to new figures.

Research commissioned by charity Young Enterprise found one in three young people expect to spend over a year looking for a job after leaving full time education.

The UK’s high youth unemployment figures continue to lag behind comparable European economies such as Germany and Denmark, with the figures symptomatic of a wider inability to properly prepare Britain’s young people for skilled employment in the global world of work.

Dan Hawes, Marketing Director at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau exclusively told Recruitment Grapevine that the level of skill and education expected from Britain’s millennial workforce is rising.

“Many recruiters have been raising the bar for what they are seeking from new graduate recruits, thus creating an increasingly competitive job market for university leavers,” he said.

Hawes said graduates can no longer expect to leave university instilled with the skills employers are after, but instead must work on their employability.

“GRB advise university students and graduates to understand the commercial reality of this situation and carefully identify skills that employers value,” he said.

“This way students can optimise their time at University to build those skills through experiences and learning to give them a desirable edge.”

This notion of being underprepared for work is backed up by Young Enterprise's data, which shows that many of those surveyed feel unprepared for a seamless transition into the job market, with 58% of young people believing they will struggle to secure work due to not getting enough experience of work or education in entrepreneurship.

A further 31% feel they are not being taught the necessary key employment skills required in the workplace such as teamwork, confidence and problem solving; while a third of students said they are not given enough guidance and consultation when choosing their career. 

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