Brexit has left many businesses with questions surrounding the issues of a dwindling workforce and a growing skills gap.

Ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, companies must decide on how best to manage the skills gap in their workforces, primarily through improved graduate training processes. By investing in graduate employees and taking the time to discover talented young individuals that will drive the business forward, long term security can be ensured.

What is the skills gap?

The skills gap is a shortage of abilities and knowledge required by employers, that is not possessed by the majority of workers. The current skills gap has been assumed to be partly as a result of the Brexit referendum decision. A report by Deloitte stated that "47% of skilled European workers are expected to leave Britain over the next five years." This is primarily due to being as a result of not feeling welcome and their ability to now earn an equal or better salary elsewhere. With the skills gap created by Brexit, it is looking to cost the UK around £90 billion if businesses are unable to address the issue.

The Local Government Association (LGA) estimates that by 2024 there will be more than 4 million too few skilled people to meet the demand for high skilled jobs. Therefore it is imperative that UK businesses look to incorporate methods, such as graduate training, that will help teach the necessary skills to new recruits, in conjunction with optimising their existing skill sets.

What is graduate training?

The increasing number of graduates in the UK creates a vast collection of highly educated individuals available to recruit. Although graduates may lack specific practical or work-based skills, they do possess the higher education and the ability to absorb large amounts of information quickly, that will allow for the desired skill sets to be easily taught.

Graduate training allows for business to evaluate the existing skill set of new employees. Subsequently, this can be used to identify the specific skills gap and create a bespoke training course.  

What benefits does graduate training offer?

The benefit of training new graduates lies in their little commercial or business experience. This means that they enter the workplace and graduate training as a blank canvas, allowing them to be developed in alignment with the business’ values, alongside their organisational and leadership methods.

Additionally, the lack of education they receive in commercial processes allows them to approach skills with a new set of eyes. Contributing new ideas and perspectives to approaching roles and common issues through their existing knowledge, can be revealed through graduate training programmes.

Utilising the graduate training can also lead to lower overhead for recruitment. As internal skill sets of companies grow through, the skills can be passed onto new starters, creating a loop of internal learning. Consequently, businesses will be able to look internally for future promotions and vacancies as they will be confident of their staff’s skill sets.

Employer spending on training in the UK is over £6 billion less per employee per year than the EU average. The influx of graduate training programmes will support in increasing the skill set of the UK’s workforce while simultaneously improving the nation’s competitivity of labour.