ICAEW says academic results alone are not enough for young people

In the wake of students collecting their A-level results, global accountancy body ICAEW has said that prospective employees need more than just academic results, highlighting the importance of developing other skills in the workplace.

ICAEW conducted a survey of 538 Financial Directors, Chief Financial Officers and senior partners. The research found that having a strong technical ability was seen as being the foundation for success for those in a senior role, followed by interpersonal skills.

From first to fifth, the skills most essential for success, according to the respondents, were: communication skills (37 per cent), likeability (30 per cent), leadership (29 per cent), commercial awareness (28 per cent), and an entrepreneurial mindset (28 per cent).

Sharon Spice, ICAEW Director of Global Student Recruitment, 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.”