Results from a recent survey by the CII Group have found that recruitment levels are down in the financial services sector with 22% of employers saying UK candidates lacked the right qualifications.
A further 16% could not find UK candidates with the right skills.
CII is warning that the industry needs to take apprenticeships and graduate recruitment seriously to avoid long-term implications.
Findings from the Association of Graduate Recruiters Winter Review 2008 have shown that while graduate vacancies will be over 16% higher than last year – making it the highest level this decade – the insurance sector will be one of only two sectors not anticipating any growth in graduate recruitment.
The Incomes Data Services poll of employers also supports this trend with financial services employers likely to recruit 15% fewer graduates this year compared with the manufacturing industry, where full order books and skills shortages mean a 32% increase in graduate recruitment in 2008.
Caspar Bartington, relationship manager for further and higher education at CII, says: “A sea change will be required in the parity of esteem – as so often, anything not purely academic is looked down on by many – and the key is to educate people about the different routes into employment, whether through university, college, Apprenticeship or none of these.”
Bartington says employers are slowly grasping the reality that many university degrees are becoming devalued and that the apprenticeship route is more attractive to the young, bright school-leavers and college students not going to university.
He adds: “It’s key for employers to get involved in the programme, particularly in the financial services sector which hasn’t traditionally engaged with apprenticeships in the past, and with a skills shortage already identified for claims, continuation of this trend can only augur badly for the industry.”