Following a comprehensive survey which looked at the engagement between schools and businesses, Liverpool Chamber has identified what employers want from those new to the workforce.
The findings show that communication, flexibility and problem-solving are the most important attributes a school leaver needs to be successful in business.
The survey also showed that 79% of respondents want to help develop career pathway materials to help improve careers information for schools and colleges; demonstrating that there is a willingness from business to educate and prepare young people in skills required by employers.
To address the skills needs across the City Region Liverpool Chamber is calling for stronger social partnerships between employers, schools, colleges and universities to prepare the next generation for careers in the businesses of tomorrow.
The survey, which was conducted in collaboration with Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company and Professional Liverpool found that businesses who were surveyed are looking for interaction with students rather than relying on traditional routes, such as work experience.
Instead responding employers are more likely to take part in careers talks, with mock interviews and contributing to lesson delivery becoming a more significant part of how businesses engage with students, suggesting that this interaction offers meaningful outcomes for all sides of the conversation.
Paul Cherpeau, chief executive of Liverpool Chamber, said:
“The survey shows that although there is a good level of interaction between businesses and some schools, so much more needs to be done throughout a child’s education; to further engage with potential employers, if we are to fully equip our young people with the skills to succeed in the workforce of the future.
“Schools that plan employer engagement throughout the curriculum will greatly enhance the opportunity to create appropriate and worthwhile encounters for everyone taking part. By making those interactions more dynamic, it enhances awareness, opens the minds of students to wider options, and positively impacts on their aspirations.”
Steve Stuart, Chair of the Professional & Business Services Board for the Liverpool City Region, said:
“This is the first time a survey looking into business engagement with Liverpool City Region schools has been conducted: and we did so to not only better understand the needs of employers but to also look at ways we can encourage smaller businesses to get involved with raising careers awareness within our schools.
“For the City Region to develop a strong talent pipeline of workers, from which employers will benefit, we need more people to get involved. The Give An Hour campaign, run jointly by Growth Platform and The Careers & Enterprise Company, is the perfect vehicle. It is easy to register, and you are not obligated to commit to more than you can offer as a business or an individual.”
Steve added: “I’m immensely encouraged that so many businesses want to help our schools and young people by developing careers materials and we aim to harness this goodwill for the benefit of our future workforce.”
Sally Beevers, Careers Hub Lead for Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company welcomed the report saying:
“Encounters with employers bring the world of work to life for young people. Research has shown that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training and can earn up to 18% more during their career. This report confirms the fact that businesses and employers have a pivotal role in giving young people the opportunity to explore their options and succeed in the world of work.”
The survey also showed some interesting results when it came to the reasons businesses engage with schools and the issues preventing them from doing so. Corporate social responsibility and creating a talent pipeline were the things driving most businesses, while business capacity, time and access to schools were common barriers.