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Texting and Twitter makes job recruits all thumbs

Texting and Twitter makes job recruits all thumbs

The text and Twitter generation are all thumbs and fail to impress their bosses in insurance and financial firms with their technical ability.

Eight out of 10 insurance firms polled by the Chartered Insurance Institute and Personal Finance Society for this year’s skills report said a skills shortage was having a detrimental effect on their businesses – and was getting worse.

Many employers expressed a credibility gap between their expectations for new recruits and what these workers could deliver.

The shortcomings were blamed on over-familiar communications encouraged by text messaging and social media networks like Twitter.

CII president Julian James said: “Four out of five CII member companies say that their businesses are being negatively impacted because of a deficiency in technical skills. This is a long-term problem and, if we don’t start to solve it, we will have fallen behind our competition in less than a decade.

“This is why the CII has created and is actively promoting its skills programme. We need to get young people interested in what we do, and then provide them with the training they need to ensure the long-term competitiveness of our industry.”

Some of the 3,000 firms polled for the survey claimed many recruits had a “world owes them a living” attitude, with graduates expecting rapid promotion without hard work.

Firms also reported providing remedial classes to bring literacy, numeracy and IT skills up to standard.

Of the firms polled, 40 per cent reported having to provide literacy training for school leavers, 41 per cent for existing staff and 25 per cent paid for additional training for graduates.

Numeracy skills were not much better, with a third of employers funding remedial training for school leavers, 18 per cent for graduates and 30 per cent for employees

Half of firms delivered extra IT training to existing employees, compared to 27 per cent for school leavers and 17 per cent to graduates.

The findings also indicate that insurance may not attract the best job candidates when compared with other industries.

“When compared to a recent skills report by the Confederation of British Industry, it emerges that the insurance profession makes a higher level of investment in remedial training than industry as a whole, possibly indicating that the insurance sector is not attracting the highest calibre of candidates,” said the research report.

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