Small and medium businesses now account for almost one fifth of all employment in the United Kingdom, but research from the British Chambers of Commerce suggests that small and medium sized businesses may be hesitant to hire recent graduates. This is especially evident in micro-businesses, or those with fewer than ten employees.
Of the businesses surveyed for the study, 47 per cent stated that they were “fairly nervous” or “very nervous” about hiring school-leavers or recent graduates. Only about 22 per cent of those surveyed said that they would feel “fairly confident” or “very confident” about hiring recent graduates. The reason why so many of these companies seem to be unwilling to provide jobs to recent graduates is due to concern that those fresh out of school may lack the business skills needed for their chosen careers.
Edward Mellett suggests that this trend is indicative of many missed opportunities not only for recent graduates to receive valuable work experience right out of school, but for small businesses to recruit young men and women and foster the growth of their careers. He says that small businesses “…are a fantastic opportunity for school-leavers to develop their skills in the workplace” and that small business owners can work closely with these graduates through recruitment programs to better prepare them for the future.
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