graduates

Women not going for top graduate jobs

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_DSC0291Women outnumber men, and outperform them, at university but don’t bother applying for top graduate jobs.

According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) – which looked at 170 employers and 22,000 graduates last year – women usually perform better on such programmes but men dominate those run by major employers and in the highest paying sectors.

Banking, Accountancy, construction, professional services and consultancy businesses all hired more men than women last year. The exception being law.

The association wants employers to work to combat negative stereotypes in some sectors which may put off female graduates.

Most employers still insist on a 2.1 degree but some have relaxed entry requirements completely (considering grade inflation probably a good idea. Who knows what a degree is actually worthy these days?).

Capgemini has rewritten job descriptions in the light of research which suggests women will only apply for jobs when they think they meet all the criteria, unlike men who will bullshit their way through even if they only match 60% of them. (From my experience as a career management consultant this is very true).

The Chief Executive of  the AGR said “Despite investment to develop a more diverse graduate workforce there remains considerable barriers. Improving gender diversity is less about changing selection processes and is largely an attraction challenge. many female students don’t apply“.

As graduates, especially women, increasingly seek safe places and avoid micro-aggressions I wonder if they are simply put off by the thought of having to enter the real world and face a possibly challenging working environment?

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Firms say school leavers are unemployable

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business_figure_with_clients_400_wht_10680Tell me something new! This has been a recurring complaint, usually by the CBI or the IoD. This time it’s the British Chambers of Commerce.

What are they actually saying?

School leavers and even some university graduates are unemployable because:

  • they cannot speak confidently to adults
  • they can’t turn up for work on time
  • they speak abruptly to customers
  • they don’t look people in the eye
  • they fiddle with their phones all the time
  • they are unable to perform simple maths
  • they are unable to write clearly (presumably more comfortable with text speak)

John Longworth, the Director General of the BCoC has called for schools, and employers, to do more to help teenagers develop the “soft skills” demanded by employers and prepare them for interviews.

He also wants schools to enhance their careers services by forging better links with employers. (Do schools still have careers services?)

The chambers of commerce produced a survey showing that over 2/3 of employers thought that schools were not effective at preparing teenagers for work. Approximately the same proportion wanted improved literacy and numeracy and almost 90% wanted better communication skills. Over half wanted better computing skills and teamwork.

Mr Longworth said “It’s a scandal that we have nearly one million under-25s unemployed in the UK. Communication skills are a real problem both at interview and in the workplace where students cannot speak articulately and don’t know how to deal with people in a polite way. Then there is the whole business of punctuality where they won’t turn up for work on time and they don’t think that’s a problem

DSCN1502As career coaches my colleague and I have delivered workshops to prepare graduates for employment for several years – but in Lithuania where they realise how important this aspect of their education is.

My colleague has also worked with a number of UK universities, on a voluntary basis, preparing students for interviews via mock assessment days. He has experienced most of the above things plus inappropriate dress and lack of preparation.