Forget Brexit. A lack of international skills is high on the list of grumbles employers already raise about modern graduates.
Research reveals employers drawn from all sectors are unsatisfied with graduate applicants’ lack of international skills.
And, according to the business world, 70 per cent say future employees will need international skills.
Responses from more than 300 organisations in a CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey (2017) said the biggest bug bear was the lack of foreign language skills
However, Teaching Abroad Direct found there are large discrepancies between countries, in terms of international exposure.
In the UK 62 per cent of graduates say they had opportunities to study abroad compared to 87 per cent of German and 81 per cent of American graduates but considerably higher than the 48 per cent of Chinese respondents who say that similar options were open to them.
Andrew Lynch, a spokesperson for Teaching Abroad, adds: “In a time of stark global growth, British students cannot afford to be complacent and reliant on the skills that come naturally to them.
“To thrive, they should seek to challenge themselves. There is no richer way to do this than to embark on studying or working abroad.
“A placement will provide you with an opportunity to thrive, boost employability, improve language skills and extend expertise in your chosen field. If you take teaching abroad as an example, aspiring teachers can improve their understanding and empathy working with different cultures. This will deliver vital experience to a career where you never know who you will have to teach from one day to the next.”
Data also shows that UK students who study abroad are nine per cent more likely to gain a 1st or 2:1 degree at university and 24 per cent less likely to be unemployed.
Globalisation is serious business at many universities these days and Lancashire is no exception.
The University of Central Lancashire says it has a globally recognised approach to student employability and enterprise. It set up the first private university in Cyprus and has long been a sector leader for developing international partners. Current providers are based across the world, including China, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, USA and Mauritius. It also established a medical school, originally for overseas students,
Both Lancaster and Cumbria have partner organisations around the world and besides students coming to the county to study, local students also go abroad.