Manufacturers not all that pleased with graduates

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 November, 2011, 12:00am


University graduates lack 'soft skills' and loyalty towards their employers, according to a survey of company executives.

Last month, City University (CityU) commissioned the Chinese Manufacturers' Association (CMA) to poll 326 companies mainly from the trading, retail and marketing, and manufacturing industries.

About 75 per cent have hired fresh graduates before.

Eighty per cent of the companies said graduates lack skills in multitasking and problem-solving. Two-thirds of the respondents said young graduates lack business sense and global vision. Such traits are highly valued by employers.

Sixty per cent of the companies polled, however, praised the graduates for their creativity and good computer skills.

'Besides higher education qualifications, employers look for enthusiasm and a willingness to go the extra mile,' says CityU vice-president Paul Lam Kwan-sing.

Lam also says that switching jobs often is not a god idea.

'Changing jobs does not mean you will gain more work experience; instead, employers will doubt your work attitude and sincerity,' he said.

Lam pointed out that some ideas by graduates are not practical because they 'lack general knowledge of the business world'.

He explained: 'A common weakness is they do not think from the production's point of view and consider cost-effectiveness.'

Stella Lee Wai-fan of the CMA says she supports the education reforms to help students learn more essential skills for future jobs.