Universities and Companies Must Work Together to Close Skills Gap

January 12, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. hand in hand (idiom) 
[hand-in-hand]– together; in cooperation with
Example: Public and private companies worked hand in hand to provide jobs for unemployed citizens.

2. youth (n.) [yooth]– a young person or a group of young people
Example: The adults and the youth act differently because of their age gap.

3. higher education (adj.) [hahyer] [ej-oo-key-shuhn]– pertaining to college or university education
Example: The company prefers graduates from higher education institutions, especially those who are from well-known universities.

4. policymaker (n.) [pol-uh-see-mey-ker]– one who makes government rules and laws
ExamplePolicymakers reviewed the suggested rules about solutions to environmental issues.

5. hands-on (adj.) [handz-on, -awn]– involving participative or active experience
Example: Employees undergoing hands-on training created their own projects. .

Read the text below.

To make it easier for fresh graduates to find employment after graduation, universities must work hand in hand with companies, says a study by the McKinsey consulting company.

According to a survey answered by youth and employers in 25 different countries, less than half of them believe new graduates are ready for jobs.

On the other hand, higher education institutions believe 75% of their graduates are prepared for work.

The International Labor Organization says the number of unemployed youths worldwide has now risen to 75 million mainly because of the worsening global economy.

Several policymakers have studied if “skills gap” is contributing to rising unemployment among new graduates. A skills gap happens when people do not have the right skills for available jobs.

The McKinsey survey said 40% of employers blame skills gap for entry-level vacancies.

The survey asked employers about their involvement in recruiting new graduates. Less than 1/3 (one-third) of employers actively work with schools and youth. These employers are also the most successful in getting employees with the right skills.

Meanwhile, the rest of the employers rarely communicate with universities and students.  This means many schools are not sure whether their graduates have difficulty finding jobs. Many students also do not know which school courses they should take to get good jobs.

McKinsey said universities should work closely with industries so that the schools can develop curriculums that better match job requirements. Employers who lack funds or staff to support students’ hands-on training can also offer online training to students.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that many new graduates are not yet prepared for work? Why or why not?
·         What else can new graduates do so they can easily find entry-level jobs?

Discussion B

·         Do people nowadays really need higher education to get good jobs? Why or why not?
·         Is training done by companies more useful than training done by school? What makes you say so?


January 12, 2013