SMEs are finding it hard to get suitable work experience candidates, according to Barclays research.
SMEs want to hire entry level candidates who have completed work experience but they struggle to find suitable candidates.
The finding comes from Barclays research, with 77% of SMEs saying that entry level candidates who have completed work experience are a good source of talent.
Unfortunately, despite recognising the value of such recruits, one in five small businesses say the biggest barrier to offering work experience is that they are unable to find suitable candidates.
SMEs account for 99% of all businesses in the UK and employ 24.3 million people.
According to their HR decision makers, young people at entry level lack a range of basic skills when they start work.
More than half of those surveyed said they felt young people lacked relationship skills and were unable to handle clients, customers and suppliers.
Appropriate work behaviour was also a concern, with two in four worried about them using their mobile phone while at work or taking too long breaks, and nearly half worry they lack time management and punctuality skills.
Kirstie Mackey, head of LifeSkills at Barclays, said: “Small and medium sized businesses are an incredibly important source of employment, yet this research shows they perceive a disconnect between the skills they need and those of young people at entry level.
“Work experience is a really valuable way of closing this gap but it is worrying that so many SMEs struggle to offer opportunities because they can’t find suitable candidates.”
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