Working with schools to fill tomorrow’s skill gaps

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What advice did your career counselor give you? Follow your dreams? If you’re good at math be an engineer, if you’re good at history be a teacher? It seems many young people are getting bad careers advice, according to UK employers who say they’re not seeing high school and university graduates going into areas where there’s high demand.
According to a recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development survey, government, schools and employers need to work together to help young people into areas of work where demand is growing.
More than half (53%) of employers believe that young people receive inadequate careers advice and almost two thirds (63%) said that the young people they had recruited lacked insight into the working world, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey, which is part of a UK-wide government report into career guidance for young people.
By limiting their options in certain subject areas, young people end up excluding themselves from entire high-demand sectors, creating a mismatch between available jobs and young people's skills.
“There is already a worrying mismatch between the skills employers need and the skills the next generation of workers are focusing on,” CIPD CEO Peter Cheese said. "A critical way to help resolve this is to increase the emphasis on careers advice in schools and to get employers into schools more regularly, bringing to life the natures of different careers, and the generic and specific skills they're looking for when they recruit.”
Another CIPD survey found that more than two thirds (61%) of UK employers have expressed willingness to be more involved in the education system but they need the opportunities to do this.
In Canada, some sectors are already working closely with educators. Suncor spokeswoman Sneh Seetal says high-calibre quality professionals are always in demand in the natural resources industry. The company works with and supports university and technical institutions that offer programs that feed its workplace.
“We know there will be a tight labour market and the demand for highly skilled workers, given that increasing global demand for our products and the planned growth within our industry, we know that situation exists. We have done what we can to offset any potential impacts,” she says.
How does your industry work with educators and career counsellors to communicate with young people?
  • Justin B. on 2014-07-14 2:41:43 PM

    I think in addition to encouraging schools for jobs that are in demand, we need to start discouraging courses and programs in job sectors that are saturated. Schools are now a business and their focus is on the bottom-line, not ensuring that graduates can get a job. So for jobs that are completely saturated, we need to limit the amount of graduates to ensure those who are paying a lot of money for education are not doing so in vain. This will ensure that the training of each pool of graduates better matches the needs of the market.

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