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Friday, August 23, 2013

Third of new employees do not feel ready for the workplace, report reveals

New employees share their employers' concerns about how education has prepared them for the modern workplace, according to new data released today. 

The study, conducted alongside the annual CBI/Pearson business survey, found that many new starters felt unprepared for the world of work. 

Interestingly, 70 per cent felt that lacked the necessary work experience. The most worrying statistic, however, was that a mere 31 per cent thought that they did not have the appropriate work skills when they started their first full-time role. A further 40 per cent did not feel enough time and attention was given to employability at school, college or university. 

Introducing the findings, Roxanne Stockwell, Principal of Pearson College, said: "The survey of new starters shows that there is a pressing need for higher education to link more closely to the professional world.

"High academic standards are vital, and our students will study many traditional business subjects as part of their degree, but this is not enough on its own. This survey, and the wider Pearson/CBI survey, demonstrate that corporate engagement and the chance to develop a sophisticated understanding of the modern business world are also crucial. It is not a question of choosing one or the other - both are essential."

Today's poll is released as Pearson, the UK's only FTSE-100 delivering business degrees, and Ashridge Business School announce a new partnership to address the gap between graduate employability and industry needs, offering business degrees in the UK and a suite of innovative undergraduate programmes in 2014.

The programmes will be delivered by Pearson College, validated by Ashridge, and designed by both along with a network of other industry partners.

This answers a demand highlighted in the annual CBI/Pearson business survey, showing that more than nine out of ten employers (93 per cent) believe that businesses must play a greater role in developing the talent of young people. 

The survey of 294 firms, employing 1.24 million workers, found that the top priority in this new approach is ensuring that qualification design and outcomes are based around employers' needs and industry standards (80 per cent).

Kai Peters, chief executive of Ashridge Business School, said: "The new programmes will develop graduates with the knowledge and skills that businesses are calling for, and give students practical experience of applying management theories in  areas such as marketing and finance. By ensuring students have experience in the corporate sphere and well-honed soft-skills we are developing practicing managers at a younger age, and boosting graduate employability."

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