Central YMCA survey highlights value in apprenticeships

Central YMCA survey highlights value in apprenticeships

Young people are entering the workforce underprepared and lacking basic ‘soft-skills’, according to UK employers – with inappropriate mobile phone usage cited as a top annoyance.

The survey of over 200 business owners by charity, Central YMCA, revealed that half (49%) believe the young people they recruit need to scrub up on the basic life skills needed to be a good employee.

Highlighting their top bug bears, over a quarter of respondents said young people failed to understand appropriate mobile phone/IT usage in the workplace, while 23% said effective timekeeping and punctuality was lacking.

Other skills reported as below the required standard by employers in Central YMCA’s study were: commitment to the job (22%), an ability to manage their personal finances (20%), and the ability to listen effectively (15%).

The charity is hailing good quality apprenticeships as a key factor to change, with Rosi Prescott, Chief Executive of Central YMCA, saying: “Young people will make up the next generation of our workforce, so it’s essential they’re equipped with the skills to ensure they’re work-ready. Good quality apprenticeships can really drive change here as a means of arming young people with the soft-skills that traditional education sometimes may fail to address.

“Of course, that doesn’t mean that employers don’t have a responsibility to help in solving the problem. They must be more upfront about the skills their business needs in order to grow, and interact more efficiently with young people and education providers to make this known.

The research also revealed that what is currently being taught in education is not what employers want from employees – with those skills that have a high emphasis in schools, such as vocational and IT skills, at the bottom of employers’ lists of requirements.

Rosi continued: “We’re now facing a robotic revolution in which 35% of existing jobs are due to be automated by 2036 – meaning future skill requirements are becoming less and less clear. As a result, we’re currently engaging with ministers, employers and schools to figure out how we can meet employers’ needs in this new age.”

Central YMCA’s study wasn’t all bad news, as it also revealed that over half of employers believe young people are eager to learn and develop their skills, and more than a third said that they bring enthusiasm and passion into the workforce.

For the full report findings, click here. Central YMCA offers a full range of apprenticeships and study programmes through YMCA Training

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