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What is the Graduate Skills Gap?

Watch: Employability skills – have you got them?

What is the graduate skills gap?

In 2018, Bloomberg surveyed 200 senior-level individuals, 100 each in academia and business, focusing on four primary themes: preparedness, skills, collaboration, and planning. The survey found that 65% of corporations and 56% of academic institutions viewed graduates as ill-prepared in some way.

The most significant area in which graduates were lacking was soft skills – with 34% of corporations and 44% of academic institutions reporting that graduates possessed hard skills but lacked the necessary soft skills to perform at a high level in the workplace. The report reflects that ‘this soft-skills deficit is problematic as it suggests new hires are ill-prepared to tackle some of the most difficult and common challenges they will face in today’s workplace’.

Meanwhile, statistics from The Open University’s Business Barometer corroborate the existence of a widening skills gap.2 Its report found that 94% of SMEs are struggling to find workers with the right skills and three in five senior business leaders believe that the skills shortage has worsened over the past year.


Self Reflection Exercise: Reflecting for employability