IT skills do not always match personability

Employers are struggling to fill
technical vacancies due to a shortage of IT and engineering graduates with the
right interpersonal skills, according to research by the Institute for
Employment Studies.

The number of
graduates from disciplines including IT, engineering, maths and the physical
sciences is falling, according to the study published last week. The number of
maths graduates fell by 1 per cent in the five years to 1999, against a 10 per
cent rise in the total number of graduates.

Those graduates with
technical degrees lack the important personal skills which employers are
looking for in the modern workplace, the IES report claims.

IES director Richard
Pearson said, "Employers want graduates who are primed for work, able to
communicate, share their skills and appreciate their place in a wider

David Yeandle, deputy
director of employment policy at the Engineering Employers’ Federation, said
demand among employers for these "softer skills" is more noticeable

He said, "The
importance of people skills has gone up. But I am not sure the supply of those
skills is any less than in the past."

The research also
reveals that many graduates take three or four years to settle into stable
employment, preferring to spend time in temporary jobs or further study first.
One in four is in a temporary job nine months after graduation.

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