News that graduates across the globe are not equipped with the necessary skills for the workplace has been floating around in cyberspace for a few weeks now. But what is actually going to be done about the situation?
Experts have come up with a nifty plan to get students learning the skills they need for the world of work as early as possible.
They have suggested intensified collaboration between corporations and schools, meaning that students heading off to university will already have a good idea of the inner workings of a business before embarking on a degree.
By the sounds of it, this venture would go down pretty well here in the UK – and other countries are increasingly jumping on the bandwagon.
Chen Yu, a job researcher at Peking University has said that China’s education structure must be better adapted to match the market demands so that university graduates will face less of a challenge finding a job; and Mark Du Ree, a regional head for Swiss human resources company Adecco Group, suggested that corporations could offer training programmes across school and university departments.
"Corporations are profit driven and by nature want to use people who have experience or have already been trained," Du Ree said.
"But corporations should have a sense of social responsibility and hire young people who are the future of the nation," he added. "They should help universities prepare young people better."
Hear, hear! And CEO of India’s business process outsourcing company Genpact voiced his agreement at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2012 in Tianjin on Wednesday: “It is a worldwide phenomenon of mismatched human resources and employer requirements,” said Tiger Tyagarajan.
Easy, tiger: there are plenty of ways to sort this out. Last week we published a tongue-in-cheek article
about the skills which university life can teach you (‘Numeracy skills: counting the number of tiles on the ceiling during lectures’) but today we get serious:
• Start early. It is worth considering student jobs
, at school or at university, to prove to employers that you have taken it upon yourself to acquire some knowledge of how a business is run and what working life is like.
• Think of ways to acquire the basic skills needed for most jobs – and incorporate them into everyday life. Play a sport to show you are a team player, volunteer with kids or old people to highlight your interpersonal skills, scan the Sunday papers to keep on top of business and finance, etc.
• Don’t worry if you’ve left it a bit late – you can always apply for trainee jobs
which teach you the skills you need ‘on the job’! Most employers should provide training to update employee knowledge and promote lifelong learning.