Graduates can bring a variety of skills to the workplace, and with adequate graduate training, they can be moulded into the ideal candidate for future management roles.

However, in a recent survey of UK employers, the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), has found that half of the employers believe that graduates lack essential workplace skills. To combat this, business leaders should create and structure their graduate training programmes to ensure that any skills gaps are reduced.


Self-awareness is vital in every aspect of professional life. It means that you have a sound understanding of who you are as a person and how you relate to the world in which you live. When you are self-aware, you know your strengths and weaknesses and how to manage them in the workplace.

Moreover, you can take ownership of your downfalls and criticisms, which assist in improving your overall working manner and professionalism.

Critical thinking & problem-solving

Critical thinking is an essential skill for any employees. However, many employers have found that recent graduates lack this capability, which allows employees to assess a situation and find a practical solution.

Critical thinking can be implemented through graduate training, and focus on; understanding the links between various ideas, recognise and appraise arguments, decipher a systematic way to approach problems and reflect on their personal justification for their assumptions and values.

Problem-solving is a universal skill that can benefit companies greatly and ensure they continue to grow and develop in an ever-changing and often uncertain market.

All problems, typically, possess two common features;  a goal and a barrier to that goal. Through graduate training programmes, we can work through the various stage of problem-solving; identification, structuring, identifying solutions, a decision on how to tackle the problem, implementation of the solution and the following feedback.


46% of hiring managers rated communication as a significant skill gap, while 39% also said that public speaking was an issue for many graduates. Communication is a fundamental skill that graduates need to master when entering the workforce.

The capability means that employees can communicate their ideas to a variety of stakeholders, including; colleagues, managers and clients.

Moreover, many job roles require employees to present or ‘sell’ ideas to groups of people. An effective grasp on communication can ensure that your message is not lost in translation and that none of the vital information is misheard, in order to exact the most efficient pitch.

Writing skills

Writing skills are, firstly, not only essential to get a job but also a crucial life skill. When it comes to job seeking, this is the first text, exacted through writing an effective cv and cover letter that sells your skills to your potential employers.

However, employers have found that many graduates lack this necessary, but crucial skill. With a huge emphasis on writing essays rather than writing for commercial purposes, many graduates find themselves without the proper skills to write for a business environment. Instead, they tend to over explain using language that is not appropriate for communicating with business people.

Writing skills within the workplace can range from conducting an email, blogging, a business proposal or creating strategies. In order to maintain a consistent writing style that is clear and concise, graduate training programmes should aim to test participants' writing style and help them to develop their skills in relevant business language.

Attention to detail

Many employers feel that some graduates lack the ability to pay attention to detail. Unfortunately, this is essential as the devil is in the detail, particularly when dealing with clients.

The activity of ensuring attention to detail will demonstrate to employers that an employee is taking pride in their work and demonstrating a level of care by doing so.

Graduate training can aim to help participants manage their time effectively, which will allow them plenty of time to check their work over before it’s seen by external stakeholders.

How can graduate training improve on these skills?

Graduate training can focus on improving numerous aspects of an employee's skills. Graduate training can be built around clients’ specific needs and commercial and organisational context. It can be delivered in a blended programme that encompasses anything from classroom-based workshops and experiential business and industry simulations, to a wide range of media solutions designed for online and mobile platforms.

Moreover, graduate training often focuses on building personal and interpersonal skills such as developing awareness, management planning, problem-solving, building rapport, engaging a team, presenting and communication.