Smaller companies rejecting graduatesNews
Research by a training company has found that smaller companies are no longer looking to employ graduates but preferring apprentices.
Research undertaken by Sandler Training has found that smaller companies and SMEs are looking to employ apprentices rather than better educated graduates because of the "hard skills" that an apprentice offers instead. Sandler Training surveyed 1000 SMEs and found that graduates who offer academic skills are less attractive than apprentices who can provide "hard skills".
Speaking after the study, Shaun Thomson, the Chief Executive of Sandler Training, believes that this is the case because smaller companies cannot cope as well with a bad recruitment. Thomson said 'Following the economic downturn it really has been an employer's market. Employers have been far more focused on what skills new recruits can bring to the table. This is especially true with small businesses, when a poor recruit can have a bigger impact. Unfortunately this onus on skills has been on "hard skills" – which is why we believe the value of a degree is falling.'
The survey on youth employment has reinforced worrying trends in the graduate market. However, Sandler Training believe that it will pick up as the economy strengthens. Thomson said 'In our experience, successful recruitment has much more correlation with candidates’ soft skills – which young people can demonstrate through the diligence and commitment that goes hand-in-hand with achieving good exam results and degrees.'
Sandler Training's findings
- SMEs prefer to higher apprentices 51% to 49% for graduates
- In 5 years, SMEs will be hiring 20% more apprentices and just 7% for graduates
Many experts are unsure where a solution can be found and whether SMEs as employers of 58% of the private sector need to make more effort to train candidates. Thomson believes 'There is a stalemate between SMEs and government, which is being perpetuated by the bad experiences that many small businesses are having when recruiting young people... but rather than tarring young people with the same brush and passing the buck to government, small businesses must step up and take responsibility.'
In opposition to the idea that the onus is on graduates, NUS President Toni Pearce said 'An NUS poll of over 1,000 graduates found over half think SMEs have some responsibility for improving the job market for young people. The same amount identified "gaining experience" as the main barrier to securing a job.'
'There needs to be a more coherent strategy for getting study-leavers into SMEs, both in terms of the benefits study-leavers offer to small employers and their business growth, as well as the great skill development smaller companies offer those newer to the job market.'
Was this helpful? Yes 2