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Liam Hayes and Penny Nugent

Top five trends for millennial employability

DUBAI, February 21, 2018

The final study notes have been written. The last exams sat. Graduation has come and gone. With a crisp university degree in one hand, millennials can now take on the world... but just how relevant are today’s degrees in preparing the future workforce for the working world?

Aurecon, a global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, recently surveyed a network of its millennial workforce to assess their views on skills and employability. This growing workforce of emerging professionals from all corners of the globe, represent close to 50 per cent of Aurecon’s people, and provide a crucial feedback loop for Aurecon’s leadership, opening their minds to new ways of thinking, new ideas and the voice of the future thought-leaders.

The Global Limelight Work Readiness Survey targeted 870 recent millennial hires (or ‘Limelighters’) and saw 144 of these from across its operations highlight the skills ambitious millennials believed were crucial if they were to grow and flourish in the booming building, infrastructure and property workforce of the future.

Complementing the Aurecon Attributes Quiz Survey, which was taken by 9 700 respondents globally as part of its graduate recruitment campaign launched in January 2017 – the two surveys offer valuable insights into how well universities are preparing students for work, and what employability and on the job skills are seen as vital to the ongoing success of Aurecon’s millennial cohort of engineers and infrastructure advisors.

While the results supported the important role a university education plays in a millennial’s quest for employment, the findings highlighted a range of key issues emerging professionals face, including other fundamental skills and experiences needed to stand out from the crowd in a highly competitive employment market. The surveys also provided fascinating insights about the factors that helped Aurecon emerging professionals secure their first role.

Overall, 73 per cent of respondents to the Limelight survey said that when they graduated they felt prepared or more than prepared with the skills and capabilities needed for the workforce.

This confidence dropped once they entered the workforce, with 39 per cent stating they were less than prepared or not prepared at all for their first role.

Moreover, when reflecting on how their university course prepared them for their first job, 39 per cent felt it was less than up to date with current practice.

Aurecon’s chief people officer, Liam Hayes and Penny Nugent, global chair of Limelight, share key trends and insights into how graduates can maximise their employability.

1.    Soft skills are the new hard skills
2.    Embrace diversity of thoughts
3.    Get and stay connected
4.    Get hands-on with your experience
5.    Yes, technical skills are important

Where to from here?

Millennials have career ultramarathons ahead of them and seem to be paddling upstream after graduation to get themselves employer ready. However, as a passionate and driven generation, they are focused on developing their technical and soft skills to construct the career that is right for them. It is clear from the results that there remains a lack of alignment between university education and the necessary skills needed by millennials to excel in their first role.

It is also important for employers to create an environment in which emerging professionals can be inquisitive, be heard and learn early in their careers from their peers and colleagues. With experience, comes maturity and, in turn, graduates will build on skills and competencies to create a sound foundation for their career. A win-win situation! – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Employment | Millennials | Aurecon |

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