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Lucie Mitchell

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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Employers urged to recruit direct from business schools


Employers are not offering enough work experience placements to business school students, despite the fact that the majority are looking for ‘business-ready’ graduates, a new report has found.

Just 22% of employers currently offer work placements or internships to business school students, yet 89% agreed that including work experience within business courses makes students more employable.

This is according to a report by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the Association of Business Schools (ABS) and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Other findings revealed that just 17% of employers turn to business schools when looking to recruit first-time managers, with 45% preferring to use business schools to train and develop staff instead.

However, 51% have experienced difficulties in recruiting high calibre new managers because they cannot find candidates with the right skills.

Part of the problem may be that employers have outdated perceptions of business schools, the report suggested, with 47% of employers unsure whether the business schools in their area were well connected with the local business community, while just under a third believed there was no business case for working with universities.

Yet there is evidence to show that business and management education provides £3.25bn of revenue to the UK, and businesses that are physically located nearest to business schools have better-quality management, the report claimed.

“Stronger collaboration between business schools, employers and professional bodies will result in a better generation of leaders and also help lay the groundwork for greater innovation, management capability, and growth,” said Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI.

“It’s a win-win situation because employers get professionally trained, practically-skilled managers who can deliver results from day one – while graduates boost their career and progression prospects and universities improve student satisfaction, attracting more and better candidates.”

Jane Harrington, ABS vice Chair, added: “The more effectively universities work with business and with the professional bodies that support businesses and growth the greater opportunities we have for effectively developing UK talent.”



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Lucie Mitchell

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Lucie Mitchell