A recent report published in Forbes by McKinsey, found 4 startling facts about the gap between the education system and what businesses require of employees. OK, so the research was done in the US, so the figures may not the same in the UK, but I best the trends are no different.
As someone who has ALWAYS worked in the private sector on non-funded, bespoke programmes, the results do not surprise me.
Here is an overview of the findings and my thoughts about businesses can do about it.
- 1.The paradox of high unemployment and a war for talent continues.
- 45% of US employers say lack of skills is the “main reason” for entry-level vacancies
- Only 42% of worldwide employers believe new graduates are adequately prepared for work
WE SAY: Recruit for attitude and cultural ‘fit’, and be prepared to properly train people. This means having structured training programmes that are assessed (and possibly linked to pay progression). It also means making sure managers have the ability and inclination to train their staff (with the support of the L&D team), and not dismiss them because they don’t come full ready for work.
- 2.Worldwide educational institutions are out of sync with employer needs.
- While 42% of employers believe newly educated workers are ready for work, 72% of educational institutions do.
WE SAY: Have a robust induction programme that takes people from raw material to basic competence in role.
- 3.Students don’t perceive that traditional education methods drive job skills.
- The #1 cited way (60%) students believe they learn skills is through “on the job training.” (Our research shows that 72% of business managers say the same thing.) Most formal education is lecture and e-learning based.
WE SAY: Train managers to be able to deliver on-the-job training to the highest standard. Our TWI courses are designed to do just that. Once managers are capable of training their own staff, to the standards THEY want, the skill level of the whole workforce starts to move upwards. Managers can begin to ‘manage’ (rather than crisis manage), and good practice is embedded in the business.
- 4.While vocational education appears to be a good solution, it has low or lesser perceived value among students.
- In the research every country values traditional education over vocational education except for Germany, where 49% of respondents say academic education is more valuable.
- Germany, of course, is a country filled with apprentice-based programs and has among the lowest unemployment rate in Europe.
WE SAY: Get on-the-job training courses accredited (e,g by ILM) so that they carry just as much prestige as traditional qualifications.
I’m proud that we have always been a practical sort of consultancy. We’ve never been seduced by what’s trendy. For us the whole point of training is to make people more competent and confident in their jobs.
We can’t help with recruitment, but we CAN help you to define behavioural competences for use in recruitment so you can find the right type of people, rather than getting hung up on experience.
Induction is one of our areas of specialism, and taking people from brand new to competent team member is something we have lots of expertise in.
Training managers to train is also not considered sexy, but it is VITAL. Our TWI programmes equip managers with all the skills they need to grow their own. This in turn makes the whole business much more self sufficient.
We are proud that through a partner, we can design bespoke training programmes that can be ILM accredited, WITHOUT having to jump through the hoops that FE institutions expect businesses to.