Top 3 early talent development trends of 2023

Apr 6, 2023 | Development, Research

ISE’s Student Development survey reveals three trends to watch to ensure you’re ahead of the game, reveals ISE CEO Stephen Isherwood.

Student mental health, the cost-of-living crisis, hybrid working and retention of employees, are all issues that have made headlines in recent months. They are also the concerns of those who manage student development programmes.

In this year’s ISE Student Development Survey we have added analysis on retention, working practices and programme design to understand how our sector is responding to the pressures faced by employers and their early career hires.

1. Retention remains high, but difficulties keeping Black hires

With many organisations reporting difficulties recruiting talent at all levels, retention of students remains high and over half of apprentice and graduate hires stay for over five years.

But, when they do leave, it is often for a similar role in a different company and often dissatisfaction with pay is the reason.

In response to the cost of living crisis we asked employers how they are responding and 77% have provided some form of additional support.

Retention of hires from diverse backgrounds is also a concern for many employers, 16% of whom said that they find it more difficult to retain Black heritage hires. Which is why it concerns us that 44% of employers do not track retention of diverse hires.

2. Decline in mental health

It seems that the long-term effects of the pandemic and the shift to hybrid working is having a detrimental impact on mental health.

Compared to previous years, 64% of employers said that the number of graduates and apprentices with mental health issues has increased.

We asked employers if they have had to respond to the decline of mental health in young people and found that 88% now provide dedicated mental health support and counselling to their early career hires.

Read advice on developing a preventative approach to mental health. You can also join our workshop in April on turning mental health on its head.

3. Hybrid working dominates

Graduate and apprentice hires are also affected by the shift to online working. They should be prepared to work hybrid from the beginning of their programmes with two-thirds of employers running a blend of face-to-face and online inductions.

Most employers reported that their hires work at home at least one or two days a week.

Although most employers believe that remote development activities are less effective at developing hires than in-person events, they also think that it is possible to increase the quality of virtual training through careful design.

Read more about our data on hybrid graduate programmes and apprenticeships.

With employer demand for a skilled workforce high, the need to invest in early career development programmes is essential.

The analysis in our report will help those that develop student hires to benchmark their existing activities and build better programmes.

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