Employers struggle to find young people with the life skills to succeed in a workplace shaped by the transition to net zero and AI, report finds
- Two out of three employers surveyed reported a lack of transferable skills
There is a “reckless gap” between education policies and what employers want from new recruits, a new report finds.
Employers are struggling to find young people with the life skills to succeed in a workplace increasingly shaped by the transition to net zero and the growth of AI, it was suggested.
Two out of three employers surveyed by think tank Demos reported a lack of transferable skills that cannot be automated by new technologies.
Surveyed youth, including former scouts, found that 61 percent said a lack of work experience meant they felt unprepared to go to work after school or college.
The report also identified a “double skills gap” – a lack of technical and transferable skills that are critical in the workplace.
(Stock Image) Employers are scrambling to find young people with the life skills to succeed in a workplace increasingly shaped by the transition to net zero and the growth of AI, it was suggested
(Stock Image) Youth surveyed, including former scouts, found that 61 percent said a lack of work experience meant they felt unprepared to go to work after school or college
Two in three employers said they struggled to hire young people with sufficient technical skills and half had problems recruiting young people with transferable skills such as leadership, teamwork and emotional resilience.
Transferable skills are said to be particularly valuable for young people’s employability, with more than half of employers saying they value them more than technical skills, while only 10% value technical skills more.
Alice Dawson, researcher at Demos, said: ‘Our research shows a reckless gap between UK education policy and what the labor market actually wants from new recruits.
“Education reforms of recent years have led to a narrow focus on academic education, exposing far too many young people to a workplace increasingly focused on transferable skills. As a country, this means we have unfilled vacancies, and especially unfilled potential.
The mission for the next government must be to reverse this trend. Our report clearly sets out how this can be achieved and how we can ensure that next generations of workers have the skills to thrive in the workplace of tomorrow, where transferable life skills have never been more important.”
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout and author of the report’s foreword, said: ‘Our young people are under more pressure than ever to have the right skills and experience to help them succeed – while protecting their mental health and well-being. .
“Employers say they are struggling to find the resilience, teamwork and leadership skills they need. Acquiring these skills depends on the ability and courage to reach outside your comfort zone to learn and grow.
“Ensuring access to the power of skills learned outside the classroom would drive real change for individuals and a stronger society.”
The research was based on a survey of 3,000 people, including 1,000 Scouts alumni and 500 employers.