UK recruiters look abroad for new talent

Employers
are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the calibre of graduate recruits in
UK and are starting to look abroad for new talent, according to research.

A
poll of 104 recruiters shows that 40 per cent believe degrees have become
devalued as a means of measuring employability and more than a quarter are
experiencing difficulties in finding quality graduates.

The
findings also reveal that 66 per cent are now looking to continental Europe to
find more suitable candidates.

A
decline in the quality of applications was the main reason for the drop in the
number of suitable candidates, with a lack of appropriate skills also
highlighted.

According
to the survey, conducted by Park HR and The Guardian, 44 per cent of employers
feel that graduates don’t necessarily make better employees than staff with no
degree, but three years experience.

"What
comes out in the research is that a university education isn’t providing the
skills employers want. Organisations are looking for more rounded candidates
but there’s only a very small number of them," said Graham Wright, strategy
director at Park.

"If
you look to Europe the system is different and the students get more experience
of the workplace than UK students, who are very shielded from the real
world," he said.

Only
17 per cent felt that graduates were better equipped for the workplace than
non-graduates of the same age, and 70 per cent claiming degree results are not
the best measure of employability.

Helen
Bostock, vice-president head of graduate marketing at JP Morgan, told delegates
at the AGR conference that Europeans had more work experience built into
further education, gaining more practical knowledge.

"Recruiting
is no longer just UK wide and employers are now looking across Europe. There’s
a disparity in the skills of UK graduates compared to their European counterparts,"
she said.

By Ross Wigham

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