Graduates and the workplace

 

Sir, – Something about the recent Accenture report on graduates’ readiness for the workplace doesn’t add up (“Graduates ‘not well-equipped’ for future workplace”, Education, February 25th). The report suggests that just 13 per cent of employers believe that current graduates are very well equipped to meet the future needs of business. Yet in 2018, the National Employer Survey revealed that 86 per cent of employers expressed overall satisfaction with the quality of our graduates.This included an 89 per cent satisfaction rate with graduates’ verbal communication skills.

I suspect the root of this discrepancy is the all-too-common habit of senior people in business and industry, not to mention organisations like the World Economic Forum, of speculating about the future of work, and fixating on “skills” like creativity, problem-solving and empathy. Oh, and that’s before the inevitable mention of artificial intelligence.

The problem with all of this speculation is that it percolates down to the education system and becomes treated as fact rather than the crystal-ball gazing that it is.

The consequences are never good. – Yours, etc,

GREG FOLEY,

Associate Professor,

Bioprocess Engineering,

School of Biotechnology,

Dublin City University,

Dublin 9.