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Calls Made For Greater Co-ordination Between HE and Employers


A new report by the City of London Corporation and the Financial Services Skills Council is calling for greater co-ordination between higher education and employers.

Graduate Skills and Recruitment in the City says that greater co-ordination and dialogue is needed if future discussions of graduate skills are to be productive.

It also says that the Financial and Related Business Services (FRBS) sector must communicate with ‘greater clarity’ the specific skills it seeks in graduates.

The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman David Brewer, said: “The report suggests that there is currently a lack of consensus about how skill sets are defined and interpreted.

“There is a clear need for clarity between employers and universities, and indeed among employers themselves.

“The report also finds that financial and related business services employers tend to target graduates who are not specialised in any particular subject. Most recruiters are more interested in how graduates do things, rather than what they have studied.”

He added that employers need graduates who can apply their education practically and that there is a widespread perception in the FRBS sector that preparing graduates for the world of work, both directly and indirectly, should be part of the proper function of higher education institutions.

“The report presents good evidence of UK higher education institutions and major international employers working together, but it does not paint a coherent picture,” he continued.

“City employers want deeper relationships with universities, with a smooth transfer of academic skills to the work environment.

“Universities too, want reciprocal dialogue with employers in understanding what their skills needs are. There is an obvious opportunity for more partnership in this area between employers and higher education institutions.”

Stuart Bernau, chairman Financial Services Skills Council, said: “The UK’s financial services employers and UK higher education institutions are global leaders in their respective fields.

“The success of both relies to a great extent on the continued excellence of UK graduates. Although there are examples of excellent collaboration between employers and UK higher education, opportunities still exist for both to work more closely and form new types of relationships.”

Other recommendations in the report include higher education and employers collaborating on course design in relevant subject areas, and more discussion between the two on general skills as well as technical skills.


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