EAUC says Government setting graduates up to fail employers

21st April 2017

The EAUC is disappointed that the current Industrial Strategy draft does not make provisions to ensure today's graduates are ready for tomorrow's work.

Despite the draft Strategy recognising sustainability is key for a future fit economy, there is no attempt to address the issue that graduate skills are mismatched with business requirements. This is setting them up to struggle to gain employment as businesses across the board want graduates that can balance the needs of economy, society and the environment. Around half of employers do not think graduates have the right workplace skills according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

Just under half of UK graduates are in non-graduate roles and with the new apprenticeship levy coming into force, competition has never been so high for entry positions in the jobs market. Qualifications alone are not enough to secure a job, there needs to be a better understanding of graduate attributes that employers are looking for.

Iain Patton, CEO of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), said:

“We want the UK to be an ideopolis where innovation and resilience becomes second nature. This cannot happen if we continue to produce students from higher and further education that are not work ready. Businesses are finding it difficult to recruit graduates with commercial awareness and an understanding of global sustainability.

“We are at the beginning of a sustainability revolution and social responsibility is being embedded in business. The Government must recognise the importance of Education for Sustainable Development and outline the importance of graduate attributes outside of technical learning.

“The EAUC wants the Government, and the Industrial Strategy in particular, to emphasise graduate attributes that will make them employable. The Government should push for Education for Sustainable Development to be incorporated into the curriculum and reference Sustainable Development Goals.”

To facilitate better communication between employers and universities and colleges, the EAUC has established the Future Business Council. The inaugural meeting will be held on Thursday, 18 May 2017 and will create the foundation for a research and knowledge exchange to help equip the next generation for the world of work.


Notes to Editor

1) EAUC consultation response available online.

2) Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) states around half of employers do not think graduates have the right workplace skills.

3) Office for National Statistics states just under half of graduates are in non-graduate roles.
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