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Young candidates facing workplace wake up call due to lack of competition at school

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According to Carole Stott, head of Find a Future, learning how to deal with success or failure is vital in order to help young people develop their business acumen. 

She stressed that Britain’s next generation of workers were not used to losing, or even competing against others. This was an issue that had been brought up by parents numerous times, she said.

Some 85 per cent of parents and teachers are worried that children are ill-prepared for the workplace. Nearly two-thirds of parents believed that failure to compete in the corporate world came down to schools not encouraging competitive behaviour.

This was further highlighted by one-third of parents and teachers, who believed that those who regularly competed against others early in life would go on to perform better and achieve greater success.

The report claimed that 23 per cent of parents complained about the lack of emphasis on winning and losing in schools.

Pete Ward, operations manager at Leadership Through Sport and Business (LTSB), suggested that a technique only becomes a skill once it can be performed under pressure. He said: “Anyone can kick a ball into an empty goal, it’s only when you’re able to score past a keeper, or despite screaming opposition fans, that you’ve really mastered the skill.

“There is a generation of non-traditional talent who have the techniques: the young people we meet are articulate, engaging, and smart. But in the business world, which is essentially competitive, they freeze – they haven’t had the circumstances to develop their techniques into the skills they need for work.”

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The report echoed the results found by Work Ready Graduates in March 2015. It claimed that out of the 2,612 employed graduates surveyed, 38 per cent had found the move from student to employee difficult.

When they entered employment, they said they found the early stages full of uncertainty (55 per cent) and thought it was hard to begin work (41 per cent).

“It’s important that graduates understand what is expected of them from day one and how they can be the best they can be,” said Work Ready Graduates co-founder Kyle Burrows.

“We need to build and complement the good work of careers services to develop professionals who have the knowledge and self-confidence to make their first steps on the career ladder a comfortable and happy experience.”


Image: Shutterstock

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