Thursday, October 4th, 2001
The increase in the proportion of school leavers who now go on to University or
other higher education has raised the question of whether there are enough
applicants to fill jobs that do not require more qualified entrants, and
whether over-qualification of applicants is becoming a problem. At the same
time, views have been expressed that school leavers at 16 do not have adequate
skills in the basic '3Rs'. Our first three questions in the September Survey
addressed these issues: Results are summarised here but for the complete
analysis please visit results.
The fear of shortage of non-graduate applicants does not seem very well-founded
at present - 64% still do not appoint graduates to these posts at all, but only
37.5% thought there was no shortage at all of non-graduate applicants. On the
'3Rs', only 6.6% of businesses responding agreed that 16 year old school
leavers are well equipped with key skills such as written communication and
numeracy, while 34.6% were neutral and 58.9% disagreed.
The next two questions related to expected economic growth. The Survey went out
very shortly after the horrific terrorist attack on the US, but even so over
half of respondents expect the number of vacancies to be unchanged over the
next 3 - 6 months, while 33.3% expect vacancies to increase. On growth, just
over a third of companies feel that there will be no change in their particular
sector of the economy, while 44.8% expect some decline. 20.6% expect some
Rapidly changing electronic technology can bring benefits but also costs and
problems along with the need to keep abreast of competitors. On computer
equipment, 44.9% expect to upgrade between every 2 - 4 years, with another
37.5% expecting to upgrade every 6 months - 2 years. With mobile phones,
respondents expect to have to change slightly earlier overall - 55.1% will be
upgrading after 1 - 2 years, with a further 29% expecting to upgrade between 2
- 4 years.
The Core Questions responses showed the following results this month:
Constraint on businesses due to shortages of skills increased a little on
average compared to August.
There was an easing back by a further 3% on businesses highly constrained by
lack of finance in September, and the overall average also showed an easing
Average constraint due to low market demand was lower.
The profile of growth over the previous quarter in September did not differ
significantly from that in August and expectations about growth over the next
quarter were also pretty much the same in September compared to August.
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