The skills-gap is an very large issue costing UK companies a conservatively estimated £7.44bn/yr by 2020 according to the UKCES Skills Survey 2015.
There are  key issues that employers can easily solve that will save them costs and increase their profitability. These  things are not being solved at the moment, but are clearly a problem.
The effects on 18,000+ companies surveyed of not doing these things are:
The skills-gap is made up of technical skills lacking as well as people and personal skills lacking. By bridging the skills-gap, specifically the soft-skills-gap, we can help save companies financial resources and help them utilise their human capital more efficiently and effectively.
The most prominent people and personal skills lacking proficiency in companies are: time management, customer handling, team working and influencing others.
How do you solve these?
After carrying out 3 months of research we have found that many university graduates and young professionals came out of university feeling like they lacked real work experience and were unprepared to enter the world of work… a stressful and scary time! Companies, including a large bank, have told us they usually require six months to one year to carry out formal training and informal mentoring on the graduates before they fully grow into their positions. The four ways to solve this are the following:
Provide experience by simulating the workplace
What is the one thing that sets the best students apart from the rest? The top students use use practice exams papers to study (link). Why is this approach not being used at more prominently in university in preparation for the workplace? (some universities provide a placement year or employability awards). Through our research we found that some graduates said that just speaking with industry professionals taught them more than university did about what the workplace is like.
This can be carried out in many different ways, depending on the workplace, company, graduates etc. Some examples are to: simulate real experiences, with role play, to help people learn more realistic responses to situations and know what to expect from work.
Mix industry skills with soft skills challenges
Soft skills are essential for success in the workplace - in a survey with 2,200 employers, 77% of believe that soft skills are just as important as technical skills. (http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=4/10/2014andid=pr817anded=12/31/2014)
These skills aren’t being taught at most schools or universities. As a result, companies are required to spend the time and resources to train graduates. In the cases where they are not getting trained the employer will not use their graduates to their full potential and the graduates will not feel like they are making enough of an impact (largest motivator for grads).
There are several ways to run softskills training sessions. Simulating real situations that people have faced can make the sessions more fun and a gamified approach can be taken - also make soft-skills become more tangible.
Focus on feedback
Young professionals, particularly millennials, want feedback, and more of it.
For this reason, [PWC] have changed it’s whole review system (link)
A measurable plan needs to be put in place in organisations, or at least in training situations, to provide high levels of constructive feedback.
Self review tools can also be powerful when provided and carried out correctly.
Focus on mentoring and support
Graduates need mentoring and coaching but employers don’t have the time to do it.
As a result, the time that it takes employees to learn the skills they need can take longer.
Usually, mentoring time comes out of the mentor’s billable hours… and so it gets put on the side. Meanwhile, the mentee is left waiting around.
Accelerating employees can have huge financial advantages, and can increase motivation and decrease the chances of someone leaving after a year of the company investing in their skills and getting them ‘work ready’.
One large organisation we spoke to pointed out that graduates will cost an organisation up to £45K if they take a year to grow into their position on a £30K salary. While data is not available yet for non-graduate positions, our interviews with companies shows that for higher level positions there is a skills gap challenge too.
Reducing the time spent for the graduates to become fully useful can help organisations save up to £X! On average an organisation spends £2.6K per employee being trained, according to the UKCES Skills Survey 2015.
Start with young professionals - problems they have - effecting companies e.g. lack of motivation, lack of skills etc.
Main ways it affects companies
Cost of that
What are the solutions companies would like to see? E.g. what is different, how can we achieve that? What are the results/value of that?
People lacking experience - let’s give them experience through learning by doing