The National Employer Survey, a report commissioned by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Solas, and Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) has been published in recent weeks. Some of the reports more interesting facts and findings regarding graduate employment are outlined below.
The main reason for not employing new graduates over last two years was due to lack of graduate level vacancies with 81% of employers reporting this. 15% of employers chose the lack of availability of suitable graduates as their reason for not employing. Employers that did employ graduates reported high levels of satisfaction with ‘Computer and technical literacy’, ‘Working effectively with others’ and ‘Numeracy/processing numerical data’. Satisfaction was low with Foreign language capability’, ‘Business acumen/awareness’ and ‘Entrepreneurial skills’.
Approximately four-in-ten of all employers indicated that there were skills not currently available that were required now or in the next three to five years in the Republic of Ireland. This proportion was highest among the mid-sized employer organisations (44%). Approximately 25% of all employers indicated that they had a specific requirement for language proficiency skills in their organisation.
Employer organisations, when asked what could educational institutions do to improve collaboration between education and enterprise came up with the following suggestions; More engagement and interaction, course content mapped more accurately towards skill requirements, more practical experience through placements and internships, more industry open days and career fairs. When asked about improvements from employers side, the findings included; informing career guidance professionals of up to date industry information and improvements in relationships and engagement between industry and education.
The report found that in regard to levels of qualifications sought by employers, The majority of employers of Higher Education graduates recruited graduates with an Honours Degree(72%). The next most frequently occurring level was a Masters Degree, Post-Graduate Diploma (44%) and then a Higher Certificate and Ordinary Bachelors Degree. Employers of Further Education graduates employed mostly from those with FETAC(now QQI) award (57%) with 26% employing qualified apprentices and 15% employing from those with City & Guilds awards.
Most graduate employers were aware of the NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) (61%) and the various levels of qualification within this framework, with highest levels of awareness of this coming from large organisations and foreign organisations.
To view the full National Employer Survey and other surveys published by the HEA, view the following link – http://www.hea.ie/en/publications