Graduates tend to find a job more easily if they have previous experience as an intern and have undertaken on-the-job work-related training in their spare time, according to new research by Data 61, the data sciences division of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency. The report also showed that when work experience is integrated into a university degree, graduates are more employable. According to Innes Willox, chief executive of the Australian Industries Group (Ai), a federation of Australian employees, nothing improves graduate employability more than an internship or any similar form of on-the-job training. Willox also indicated that employers now prioritize recruiting staff with a range of soft skills, including communication, problem solving, teamwork, critical thinking and creativity.
All of these, he said, are becoming even more essential across a diverse range of roles and, as yet, cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence systems. Expanding on this, he said incorporating employment-related experiences into higher education courses has been shown to enhance work readiness, with employability-based training and / or employer involvement in the academic process recognized as improving the job prospects of graduates. Echoing Wilcox’s sentiments, Liz Jakubowski, founder of Ribit, Data61’s intern placement platform, said it was clear from the study that young people who gained work experience while studying ultimately had better prospects.