According to a 2019 survey by Pearson Business School, nearly a fifth of graduates were found to be not "workplace-ready".
Just 13% of the 531 employers and HR leaders who took part in the research felt that graduates were ready to hit the ground running after university.
48% of the surveyed employers and HR managers said that graduates lacked leadership skills, 44% felt graduates lacked negotiation skills and 38% identified strategy and planning skills as being deficient.
This was backed up by another Pearson Business school study of 1,012 graduates which found that 34% felt unprepared when it came to leadership skills, 25% when it came to negotiation skills and 23% felt they lacked relevant technical skills.
The survey also concluded that many felt unprepared for the graduate recruitment process, having had little opportunity to either speak to a career advisor or to take part in mock interviews.
Clearly, the impact of the events of 2020 will have done nothing to help the situation with many new graduates finding it extremely difficult to find employment and those who do are now entering a very different world of work, often having to get to grips with a new organisation and new role at a distance while working remotely.
Even for those who are in roles where they are able to go to their workplace, the transition from university to the workplace is now a very different story, with support networks and induction processes that were previously in place now being more difficult to access.
At PLD we are finding that many of our clients are using their mentoring platform to ensure that help is at hand for graduates looking for support to ensure they are "workplace-ready". Our clients' mentoring platforms enables graduates to search for mentors who can help them to develop the soft skills that employers feel are lacking, helping the mentees to jump ahead of the competition when it comes to securing a graduate role and improving performance and promotion prospects once in role.
For those graduates looking for their first career break, the mentoring platforms that our professional association clients provide enable graduates to access mentors who can give insights into career options, career search advice and interview preparation.
The mentoring platform provides all of the necessary tools to enable graduates and mentors to identify the key challenges and goals to work on and provides step by step support throughout the relationship to ensure it remains on track to achieving those goals.
One of the positives of the pandemic is that meeting virtually has now become the norm. This means that for today's graduates it is now possible to connect to a mentor and to meet through a choice of meeting options including Teams, Zoom WhatsApp etc., ensuring that support from a mentor is readily accessible, having all the benefits of a face-to-face mentoring session but from the comfort of home.
With the light at the end of the tunnel now hopefully in sight as far as the pandemic is concerned the future for graduates should start to look a lot brighter, and for those who offer a mentoring platform to their graduate employees or members they can ensure that those graduates will be well prepared to make the most of those future opportunities.