December 04, 2009 03:00 ET

Wanted: Good Candidates for the Job

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 4, 2009) - Despite the current unemployment rates UK employers are still struggling to find good candidates with the appropriate hands-on skills, according to new research from independent education foundation Edge.

Over half of employers (52 per cent) believe the jobs market is littered with people with academic qualifications, but on the flipside 68 per cent think there are too few candidates with vocational qualifications and practical skills.

Employers believe this problem is partly the fault of schools, with 56 per cent saying they believe schools place too much emphasis on academic achievement and not enough on vocational achievement.

To rectify this problem and to help ensure the jobs market is full of appropriately skilled individuals, 65 per cent of employers are willing(1) on balance for their organisation to become involved in education in some way with 58 per cent saying they are already engaged with a school or college.

Andy Powell, Chief Executive of Edge said: "There is obviously still a fundamental knowledge gap when it comes to candidates' hands-on skills and this is something that needs to be addressed by employers and also by schools. Many employers have already pledged their support, such as through the Work Inspiration campaign to improve work experience. However, it is essential that more companies turn their words into action and work with schools to ensure young people leave education with the work ready skills they need, and are quite rightly, demanding from candidates.

"In our fast-changing economy and era of globalisation we must make sure all young people, whether graduates or school leavers, are equipped with the practical and vocational skills businesses require."

Those employers who are engaged with schools are reaping the rewards in a multitude of ways from recruitment of employees (64 per cent) to raising the profile of the organisation (42 per cent), assisting with the development of existing staff (36 per cent) and exposure to fresh ideas (29 per cent).

Edge is inviting the employers, young people and the public at large to have their say on the education system, and will feedback findings to politicians in the three main parties prior to the general election. Employers can join the debate at edge.co.uk/revolution.

(1) 65 per cent of employers have scored 6 or above on a scale of 1-10 that they are willing for their organisation to become involved in education in some way

Notes to editors

The research was conducted online by YouGov between 25th Sept - 5th Oct 2009. Total sample size was 1001 employers (senior managers and above with responsibility for recruitment). The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted by organization size and sector.

About Edge

Edge is an independent education foundation. It is dedicated to raising the stature of practical and vocational learning through inspiring projects and campaigns, so that all young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential, and the UK's future workforce is equipped with the skills to be successful in the modern economy. Edge believes that 'learning by doing' is as important as academic learning, and that there are many paths to success.

Contact Information

  • Band & Brown Communications
    Sarah Davidson or Zoe Penn
    020 7419 6950


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