We need to talk about graduate employability

Mar 15, 2018 | Development

Patrick Woodman, Head of Research at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) shares a new report highlighting the importance of practical management and leadership skills for employers looking to recruit graduates. 

Specifically, the research shows that employers want all higher education students to enter work with practical management and leadership skills – not just those graduating with business and management degrees.

CMI’s 21st Century Leaders report, published with the Chartered Association of Business Schools and Institute of Student Employers, surveyed more than 1,000 managers and 830 students.

Among the key findings are:

  • 70% of employers believe management, enterprise and leadership modules should be integrated into all degree subjects to boost employability
  • 85% of employers want students to have work experience – yet only 29% say they actually offer placements
  • 62% of managers expect graduate recruits to demonstrate professional management skills

What employers want from future managers

CMI’s 21st Century Leaders report also reveals new expectations among employers when it comes to new employees’ behaviours. The top three professional abilities employers want in new managers are:

  • Taking responsibility (identified by 60%) 
  • People management skills (55%) 
  • Honest and ethical (55%) 

We need to talk about graduate employability

As employers report increasing problems with recruiting skilled workers, and the government’s review of higher education funding puts the spotlight on crippling levels of student debt, it’s time to talk seriously about how to support graduate employability. 

CMI’s research shows that employers want leadership and management skills to be baked into all higher education courses to give students the work-ready skills needed to prepare the leaders of the future. 

Every graduate should leave education with a professional qualification to enhance their employability – and, as CMI’s data show, it also increases student satisfaction scores for universities. 

It’s clear that employers must now work with higher education and professional bodies to create a skilled workforce ready to meet the business challenges of the 21st century.

Join the conversation by following @cmi_managers #21cenleaders

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