The CMI launches the Future Leaders Network to help conquer the 'employability gap'

26 June 2018 -

Future leaders

A network for young professionals has been launched by CMI to boost skills and career progression

The Chartered Management Institute has unveiled an exciting new platform for aspiring business leaders, in light of figures that show 90% of employers expect graduates to be responsible for their own career development.

The Future Leaders Network will function as a vibrant hub of knowledge and support for ambitious young professionals, as they transition from education into work. Dedicated social media groups, events and resources could help graduates to find a job, progress more quickly at work, or shape their personal development plans.

Currently, 75% of employers don’t provide training to prepare employees for their first role in management, even though nearly the same proportion (73%) of young people believe that they will. This means an ‘employability gap’ exists between employer expectations and applicants’ work-ready skills, and it leads to nearly half of graduates (49%) being forced to take non-graduate level jobs. The Future Leaders Network is needed now.

Reetu Kansal, chair of the CMI Future Leaders Panel, which will help shape the Network, explains: “Young people need to take professional development into their own hands. The Future Leaders Network will provide information about best practice and problem-solving as well as access to a supportive community of like-minded, ambitious individuals, through dedicated events and social media platforms.”

Haleema Baker-Mir, a Chartered Manager degree apprentice at Nestlé, who is also on the Panel, has described the new initiative as unique. She says: “Graduates are leaving university without the soft skills they need to progress at work. I haven’t heard about anything like the Future Leaders Network before and I think it’s a great opportunity for young professionals to share ideas and experiences with others in different industries.”

Crucially, the social element of the Future Leaders Network will help give aspiring managers the skills and behaviours that employers say they need. These include the ability to take responsibility; people management skills; being honest and ethical; problem solving and team-working.

Baker-Mir is keen to get started. She says: “I hope the Future Leaders Network can help with soft skills such as the ability to influence upwards within a business, and confidence. These are qualities that I’ve personally had to work on, that you can’t necessarily develop at university.”

Beyond the Future Leaders Network, the CMI continues to offer numerous opportunities for professional development. These include awards, certificates and diplomas in management skills, as well as Chartered Manager status. There is also a dedicated network for CMI Women.

Read more: Management training and qualifications

Kansal has been involved with CMI initiatives for a long time and wants to help a new generation of managers. She explains: “This is my tenth year of involvement with CMI and it has led to Chartered Manager status. I have seen CMI as a trusted career companion through promotions and crises, and I hope the Future Leaders Network can inspire others to do the same.”

See more information on CMI's Future Leaders Network or see Twitter @cmi_managers

Image: Shutterstock

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