CMI warns graduates to mind the 'employability gap'

  • 90% of employers expect graduates to be responsible for their own career development
  • 73% of graduates expect employers will train them to become managers
  • 75% of employers don’t provide training to prepare employees for their first role in management

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the professional body for management and leadership, is warning graduates to mind the ‘employability gap’ as they prepare to enter the workforce, with many lacking the professional skills that employers are looking for.

Armed with a hard-won degree, this year's crop of graduates might believe they are ready for the world of work, with a little support and training from their future employer. But graduates might be surprised to learn that whilst 55% of employers say they struggle to find graduates with the right skills, only 25% of employers provide training to prepare employees for their first role in management.

CMI says this is fuelling a massive 'employability gap' where employers lament the work-ready skills of graduates entering the workforce, but 73% of graduates are expecting their employer to provide the training to help them develop the skills they need to succeed in the world of work. In fact, nine in 10 employers expect graduates to invest in their own career development.

As a result, worrying figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), show that nearly half of all graduates (49%) end up taking non-graduate level roles as they struggle to match their existing skills with those expected by employers - a mismatch which has an enormous impact on business productivity and on graduates' life prospects.

To help young professionals close this 'employability gap' and take more control over their own training and career development, CMI has launched its Future Leaders Network to help recent graduates and young professionals to access development services to get their foot on the career ladder and progress up the ranks.

Both graduates and employers need to mind the employability gap if we’re to satisfy the demand for work-ready graduates that employers are looking for.

Our Future Leaders Network is a practical and flexible resource for any graduate or young professional taking responsibility for their own career and a ready-made network of peers to learn from and share experiences.

Reetu Kansal, Chair of the Future Leaders Panel

This employability gap is really worrying for graduates. I hadn’t realised that I will need to invest in my own career development, I thought employers would take on this responsibility. Leaving university this summer and starting my job hunt, it’s worrying to hear that I might not have the kinds of skills that employers are looking for, even after years of studying.

Ya Saffie Ceesay, a third year student at University College Birmingham

For more information on the Future Leaders Network, visit: @cmi_managers

To view the full infographic, visit:

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Notes to editors

About CMI

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is the only chartered professional body for management and leaderships, dedicated to improving managers' skills and growing the number of qualified managers.

Our professional management qualifications span GCSE to PhD equivalents, including the unique Chartered Manager award, which increases earning potential and improves workplace performance. We have been registered as an apprentice assessment organisation by the Skills Funding Agency.

CMI has led the way in developing a suite of trailblazing management apprenticeships with a 40-strong group of employers. These start from Level 3 (team leader) and Level 5 (operations manager) through to Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. The Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship gives employers the option to upskill up to executive and C-suite level. CMI is a Skills Funding Agency-registered apprentice assessment organisation.

We provide employers and individual managers with access to the latest management thinking and with practical online support that helps them to embrace change, create high-performing teams and keep ahead of the curve.

With a member community of more than 157,000 managers and leaders, we promote high standards of ethical practice through our Professional Code of Conduct, and help managers to build their expertise through online networks, regional events and mentoring opportunities.

About CMI’s Future Leaders Network

CMI has launched its Future Leaders Network to help emerging and practising professionals to establish and develop their careers in management.

The network offers mentoring, networking events, webinars, a CV review service, multi-media resource library and peer-to-peer community.

CMI’s Future Leaders is part of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) - the only chartered professional body in the UK dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence.