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Higher skilled roles in London rise, as skills gaps grow

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Over three quarters (77.6%) of businesses in London expect to increase the number of higher-skilled roles over the coming years. Yet 57.1% fear that there will be a lack of sufficiently skilled people to fill these vacancies.

That’s according to Pearson Business School’s regional analysis of the 2018 CBI/Pearson Education & Skills Survey ‘Educating for the Modern World’. Pearson Business School is part of Pearson College London – the UK’s first higher education institution to be founded by a FTSE 100 company.

The survey shows the continued importance of graduates to the region’s economy, but highlights that more needs to be done to ensure businesses have access to the skills they need in future.

Graduate recruitment and skills

Overall, London’s employers reported graduate recruitment was on the rise last year, with 17.8% reporting an increase compared to 13.3% reporting a decrease, and the vast majority of employers in London (79.6%) still consider a 2:1 degree a good measure of academic ability. These results reflect the value and prestige of our higher education institutions. However, our survey also found that businesses look first and foremost for aptitude and readiness for work, with 37.5% of employers highlighting these factors as the most important consideration when recruiting school, college and university leavers.

Furthermore, 72.4% employers ranked wider behaviours and attributes such as resilience, problem-solving and team work, as among their top three considerations when reviewing applicants. Developing these skills should therefore remain a priority for schools, colleges and universities.

Impact of the Apprenticeship Levy on London’s employers

Following the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, the report highlighted a drop in the number of firms in London offering apprenticeship programmes, from 86.2% in 2017 to 58.4% in 2018.

46.4% of those firms that offer such programmes have experienced difficulty in recruiting apprentices or expect to do so in the next three years, while 25.9% have taken the decision to absorb the levy as an added cost of doing business.




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