Millennials do not feel organisations are making ‘full use’ of their skills

Almost four in five (79%) UK millennials do not feel that their current organisations are making “full use” of the skills they have to offer, according to research by professional services firm Deloitte.

The research also found that 43% of millennials (classed as those born after 1982) believe they will have to work elsewhere in order to gain the skills and experience they need to fully meet their career ambitions.

Deloitte surveyed 7,800 graduates across the world. The research found British millennials are more cynical about business than their global peers. Only 39% of UK respondents agree businesses have a positive impact on society, compared to 52% worldwide.

Respondents also believe that the education system can do more to equip future leaders with the skills they need.

Just over a third (36%) of UK respondents said the skills they developed in higher education were useful in fulfilling their day-to-day work responsibilities. Only 44% said higher education was useful in improving their long-term career objectives.

Steve Almond, global chairman of Deloitte, encouraged businesses to think about their recruitment and retention strategies for younger staff.

“Businesses themselves should look at enhancing their recruitment proposition, and gaining competitive advantage, by focusing from an early stage on mentoring their staff and seeking to develop the skills millennials say they lack,” he said.

When asked which of their skills were strongest when they left higher education, graduates ranked academic knowledge and personal traits such as patience, maturity and analytical skills the highest. Leadership, entrepreneurial, sales and marketing skills and financial knowledge ranked lowest.

Chris Jones, chief executive of the City & Guilds Group, told HR magazine the research shows a degree might not be for every candidate.

“Too many people have been pushed into university, believing it’s the only way to a successful future,” he said.

“Young people don’t realise that employers are looking for more than just formal qualifications on a CV; they expect skills like working in a team, understanding the business environment, and communicating effectively. That’s why it’s so important that young people get good careers advice in school.”