The vast majority of Britain’s recruitment professionals believe failures in the UK education system are contributing to a skills crisis across the country, according to a survey from the Institute of Management.
Seventy-nine per cent of human resources managers interviewed in a research project by the IM blamed the skills shortage on the education system and 70% thought current education standards in the UK were a threat to the UK’s economic competitiveness.
Media has seen a skills crisis on both sides of the fence – with agencies struggling to find the necessary number of quality graduates and employees with one to three years experience, and media owners straining to find skilled players for their new media operations.
“The overwhelming message is that the education system is not meeting the demands of Britain’s prospering economy,” said IM director general Mary Chapman. “And that situation is getting worse. In November 1998 a similar IM survey found that 38% of organisations were experiencing a skills crisis. In the latest research to be carried out that figure has jumped to 63%.”
Nearly half of all those surveyed believed that the preparedness of graduates for the world of work has decreased in recent years.
A further 59% believed that the higher education system is failing to listen to employers properly.
Additionally, 53% did not think higher education is responding to employers’ demands for high quality and relevant vocational courses.
“The findings of this survey underline much of the concern being voiced in recent times about the skills shortage and the perceived shortcomings of the education system,” said Chapman.
“One of the survey’s most worrying discoveries is the extent to which human resource managers believe the current education standards in this country are threatening our economic competitiveness,” she said.