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The State of Talent Development for the Social Sector

Numerous reports show that employers find it difficult to recruit because of the skills gap between what employers expect and what recent graduates can provide. The Amani Institute surveyed both employers and employees at leading organizations in the social sector to determine the nature of the skills gap The core finding of this study was that the attributes employers most value in prospective employees are largely things not received from a typical university degree.

Photo of Marie Mainil
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This report inspires me because it presents thoughtful and actionable solutions to youth unemployment and social impact.

Here is the executive summary: 

Numerous reports show that employers find it difficult to recruit because of the skills gap between what employers expect and what recent graduates can provide. The Amani Institute surveyed both employers and employees at leading organizations in the social sector to determine the nature of the skills gap

The core finding of this study was that the attributes employers most value in prospective employees are largely things not received from a typical university degree.

For instance, academic and theoretical grounding—the one topic that almost all employees agree that universities are most equipped to teach—is not in the top five skills that employers (of all sizes and types) are looking for

Employers consistently rank leadership and problem-solving initiative, project management skills (including program evaluation), and communication skills as more important than academic and analytical/quantitative skills

In providing these types of skills, they believe that universities generally fare poorly.

Employers and employees believe that the attributes needed for a successful employee are often best acquired through non-traditional means such as specialized workshops or living in a different country for 6 or more month. 

My follow-up question is: How do we integrate proven solutions to educational gaps into public educational systems? 
 
 

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Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Marie. Thanks for posting this. It is interesting to learn what the specific concerns are that employers have concerning youth. Did the report explain how an employer makes an assessment for an individual candidate? Is this based on application and interview or is it based on their experience with youth and their on the job performances?

Photo of Marie Mainil

Hi Bettina, all of the above.

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