Graduates not ready for the workplace

Shadow minister for higher education, Boris Johnson, has hit out at university education that leaves some graduates unable “to have a sustained conversation”.

Speaking at the launch of Student Volunteering Week 2006 in Westminster, he said: “Too many graduates are simply not ready for the workplace, and it is terrifying to discover that some of them cannot even have a sustained conversation.”

His comments come after a report from the Association of Graduate Recruiters found that nearly half of all recruiters (46%) said they feared this year’s graduates will not have the right skills for the jobs they are offering.

Graham Allcott, director of the charity Student Volunteering England, said students who volunteer had “higher levels of teamwork, leadership and time management”.

“If the top firms really want better graduates, perhaps they should invest more in supporting student volunteering programmes,” he said.

“With the chancellor currently offering to match funding for those who do, and Conservative leader David Cameron also keen on the idea, we’re excited that this issue is high on the public agenda.”

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