How to solve the problems facing graduate employers

How to solve the problems facing graduate employers

Tony Ball, Programme Operations Manager has the inside story on last month’s AGR Development Conference in London.

I’d like to start by saying hello and thank you to all those who visited our stand during the conference. I’m sure you’ll all agree that the event generated some interesting talking points.

One of the key themes that came out of the conference was how success in the workplace is greatly dependent on a graduate’s attitudes and behaviours. It was based on a recent AGR study that discovered: ‘half of employers do not think that graduates generally have the workplace skills they need when they are first hired’.

The study went on to reveal that new graduate employees often struggle with teamwork and problem solving. The general view from employers surveyed was that graduates are taught only the technical skills they require for their future career. Often essential soft skills, such as self-awareness a sense of agency, and a growth mindset are missing. Yet it’s these qualities that really matter when it comes to making a successful transition between higher education and the workplace. More importantly, it’s these attributes that have a big influence on business performance and results.

Improving performance and results

It’s extremely encouraging to see the value employers place on soft skills. Here at YMCA Lakeside, equipping young people with life skills is and always has been at the heart of our training programmes.

Through experiential learning we encourage young people to take ownership of situations and work together as a team to solve problems. By placing young people in challenging situations and encouraging them to take safe risks, we see their attitude and behaviours change.

And it all happens amazingly quickly. One of the most satisfying aspects of my job is seeing young people, given the right environment, support and encouragement, grow in confidence and maturity in less than a week.

Special rates for AGR members

At the AGR Conference we had several enquiries from companies wanting to know how our training programmes could benefit their graduates. If you attended the event but didn’t have the opportunity to register your interest, then it’s not too late to act. We’re giving AGR members a chance to save money with a 15% discount for bookings made before 30 April 2017. For more information call 01539 539000 or email

Exhibition banner stand 2 - AGR Mar 17

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