Real life work experience: a real world solution

Updated: 31 May 2016

Real life work experience: a real world solution

University degrees are still required for most jobs, but there is a balance to strike between academics and work experience to escape becoming over-qualified and under-experienced, according to Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia in her latest LinkedIn Influencer blog.

There are a number of professions where having a degree is crucial, such as within accountancy and finance, legal, technology, engineering and life sciences. Employers in these industries look for talent with the right qualifications or degrees to ensure they have the necessary technical skills and knowledge to perform the job. However, experience counts for a lot too.

Christine says, “It’s no hidden secret that university graduates who boast good work experience stand out during the job search process. Real world work experience gives graduates a definite advantage over those who don’t have it”.

For those entering into further study – such as post-graduate degrees – too early in their career or before entering the workforce, there is a risk that employability can be hindered by becoming too academically qualified and not obtaining enough commercial experience and acumen.

Christine adds, “Around the world, we see employers grappling with skills shortages and there is a mismatch between the skills needed in the labour market and those of available talent”.

Employers need talent with relevant skills and experience to hit the ground running, who can add immediate value to their organisation.

“Apprenticeships offer a viable solution to closing skills gaps, promoting youth employability and producing professionals who are equipped with the skills employers need now and in the future”, says Christine.
Apprenticeships, on-the-job-training or industry-specific programs that combine classroom learning with practical skills development not only provide a clear career entry point but they adequately equip employees, and boost productivity of the local talent pool.

However bias towards university learning could well be stifling future generations’ employability, as a recent study in the latest issue of the Hays Journal highlights. The Barclays Apprenticeships study of 1,000 university students found that 42 per cent said their parents were their key influencer when making decisions on further education and work. Yet of the 1,000 parents also surveyed, only eight per cent were confident in their knowledge of apprenticeships, while 65 per cent believed university was the best option for their child.

There is an opportunity for apprenticeships to be improved and elevated to benefit employers that are lacking talent and for talent seeking opportunity.

“The benefits of practical and relevant skills and experience are countless for the economy, our industries, employers and jobseekers alike. These are real world solutions that can go a long way to improving employability and addressing ever-increasing skills shortages”, says Christine.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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About Hays
Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2015 the Group employed 9,420 staff operating from 248 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2015:
– the Group reported net fees of £764.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £164.1 million;
– the Group placed around 63,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 200,000 people into temporary assignments;
– 23% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 41% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 36% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;
– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA

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