What does the future look like for young people collecting their A-level results today?
With some accounting firms no longer considering A-levels when recruiting graduates and school-leavers, ICAEW Chartered Accountants Manchester is urging all students not to lose sight of the importance of skills development and explains why it is vital that young people are given the opportunity to develop these skills alongside their academic achievements.
- In a survey of 538 FDs, CFOs and senior partners, being technically competent is seen as the foundation of success for senior finance roles
- Interpersonal skills follows closely behind and 43% said they see these skills as key for success in their role
- The top five skills our members surveyed felt were also essential for success in their role were; communication skills (37%), likeability (30%), leadership (29%) commercial awareness (28%) and entrepreneurial mind set (28%)
Sharon Spice, Director of Global Student Recruitment at ICAEW Manchester, said: “In addition to academic ability, students need to demonstrate they are work-ready – they need a blend of skills and behaviours, and must be able to prove they have the ability to communicate, solve problems and work in a team.
“Too many young people are leaving education without having had the chance to fully consider their future options or how their skills and experiences fit with opportunities in the jobs market.
“I’m sure that students collecting their A-level results this week will go far, but they also need to continue to work hard on developing the skills and behaviours employers are looking for.”
“The Government was wrong to remove compulsory work experience from the curriculum in 2012.
“Experiencing the work environment isn’t a ‘nice-to-do activity’ and as these findings show, it is a necessity for young people for to develop skills in addition to academic achievements.
“Young people must have the opportunity to develop these skills outside the classroom and it is vital that students, and those supporting them, ask whether their next step will ensure they develop the skills as well as technical abilities that employers need.”
Ryan Imison took a non-graduate route into Manchester firm Mazars and has not looked back.
He said: “I started thinking seriously about careers when I was finishing my A-levels at college and had to start my applications for University.
“I was looking for courses that would allow me to understand more about the business world and prepare me for a career in the business and finance industry.
“I was advised by lots of people that after university, joining an accountancy firm and obtaining my qualifications would be a good move for me, but when I looked into it more I found that lots of leading firms, such as Mazars, give you the same opportunity if you join straight after A-levels.”