Recruiters should turn to graduates from mid-league universities because they have the skills necessary for success in a “revolutionary” economy, the chief executive of the Industrial Society has claimed.
Will Hutton told delegates at the conference that they should turn to universities previously considered to be inferior to Oxford and Cambridge to find graduates who would make businesses successful.
“We need to recruit people who are not only bright but emotionally bright with the social competencies which will be needed in the future,” he said. “The mid-league universities are producing this kind of graduate. We don’t just need people with IT skills, but also those with ‘softer’ skills.”
The former editor of The Observer said the new economy would create super-rich neighbourhoods of extremely affluent people – and future growth industries would revolve around providing services to these people.
Whereas IT-skilled individuals would be of great importance, people with the ability to build and maintain customer relationships would also be in great demand, he told delegates. “The gap between the rich and the poor is larger than it has been at any other time in history – and it looks like it could grow further.”
Today’s graduates are also prepared to work hard as long as they were able to pursue other interests out of work, Hutton claimed.
He said, “Everybody always talks about maintaining the work-life balance – but I think this phrase should be renamed ‘time sovereignty’.
“What people value above everything else is the ability to organise their own time to do the things they want to do.
“Employers should realise that when someone wants to go off and, say, play a game of cricket, it is actually important that they are allowed to go and do that.
“People are prepared to work hard as long as they are allowed to pursue other interests.”