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Graduates not up to scratch, says report

CIVIL ENGINEERING graduates enter the job market with inadequate skills, according to a report published by the Institute of Employment Studies this week.

The IES Annual Graduate Review 1998-99 claims that a gap exists between the technically competent civil engineering graduates and all rounders which firms are looking for.

It says that while record numbers of graduates are failing to get what they regard as 'proper' graduate jobs, recruiters are complaining that they cannot get the graduates they want.

Institute research fellow Nick Jagger claimed the trend is particularly acute in civil engineering. 'Despite strong demand for graduate civil engineers firms are holding back from recruiting because graduates are thought to lack management and team building skills,' he said.

The report claims that many students take as long as three years to gain permanent employment after college because of the shortfall in skills.

Jagger said that tougher training under the ICE's SARTOR initiative should help. 'A lot of employers are now taking chartered status much more seriously. There was a lot of doubt about the quality of certain candidates under the old system,' he added.

IES is now working with universities on a survey of 20,000 students aimed at finding the reasons students choose their courses. It is hoped that the report, due out in July, will shed light on falling entry numbers to civil engineering.

The Annual Graduate Review can be obtained on (01273) 686 751.

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