Graduates are leaving college without essential workplace skills: Colleges must step up

26 May 2020

In a fiercely competitive jobs market, third level institutions must ensure that students are workplace ready, a leading careers expert says.

The graduate job market is intensely competitive. Employers are looking for graduates who are flexible, take the initiative and have the ability to undertake a variety of tasks in different environments.

A significant proportion of companies have difficulty filling vacancies because graduates do not possess the requisite skills they need to enter the workplace. A gradireland survey last year found that a full 16 per cent of employers said that graduates did not possess the skills they required.

As competition in the jobs market hots up, do universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) have a responsibility to fill those skills gaps? Do HEIs have a duty to prepare their graduates for the jobs market?

“Subject discipline knowledge is necessary but it is not sufficient for graduates to be recruited.”

says Caroline Kennedy, Careers Officer with National College of Ireland.

“The graduate job market is intensely competitive. Employers are looking for graduates who are flexible, take the initiative and have the ability to undertake a variety of tasks in different environments”

Kennedy was speaking ahead of, Innovations in Third Level and Employer Partnerships, an event organised by the Association for Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS) which will highlight some innovative partnerships between industry and HEIs aimed at …

For more information contact Caroline Kennedy, caroline.kennedy@ncirl.ie, 086 0737470

Notes for the editor

Association for Higher Education and Careers Services works across the 26 Universities and Institutes of Technology in Ireland north and south who support 180,000 students studying in the higher education sector – 60,000 of whom are preparing for graduation.


Economic and Social Research Institute

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