The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) has today responded to a report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which has found that while employers are increasingly likely to be recruiting, many are reporting difficulties filling high-skilled positions, particularly for engineers. A lack of job specific skills, too few applicants and a lack of experience are the most commonly cited problems.

NCUB research released last month found that while employers value specialist subject knowledge they also want graduate recruits who are able to adapt to the rapidly changing work place. The NCUB report titled ‘Career Portfolios and the Labour Market for Graduates and Postgraduates in the UK’ discovered that employers find it difficult to predict the skills that they will need in the future so value employees who can demonstrate an ability to move between job roles and sectors.

The CIPD report also found that just 29% of employers surveyed had work experience schemes.

David Docherty, NCUB Chief Executive, said:

“Filling skills gaps in employees is not as simple as producing more employees with a particular skill. Employers need employees who can move across job roles and sectors to adapt to a market place that can change almost completely every few years.

“The requirements of business alter too quickly for graduates with the right specific skills to be consistently arriving in the work place at the right time. Instead employers and universities need to collaborate to ensure that graduates have the knowledge and agility to respond to new challenges and innovations.

“There is also a need for highly quality placements for young people entering the work place so that they have the experience both they and prospective employers value.”




NCUB Press Office – Will Hoyles 07772 512519

The CIPD Labour Market Outlook report is available here

The NCUB Career Portfolios report is available here.

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) develops, promotes and supports world-class collaboration between universities and business across the UK. Our aim is to find practical ways of harnessing the talent being developed in our universities, and the UK’s strength in ground-breaking research and development, for the benefit of the nation’s economy. Drawing on the 25 years’ experience of our predecessor body, the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE), NCUB is committed to a programme of research, policy development and practical partnerships. From facilitating collaborative R&D, to developing the entrepreneurial and employability skills of students at all stages of their education, NCUB is working to support UK business and higher education in a competitive global market.