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Complex qualifications could lose you a job

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Four out of ten (42%) of employers admit to rejecting CVs due to a lack of understanding, while the majority find the jargon and acronyms candidates use confusing, according to new research published today by City & Guilds.

The findings show only one third (35%) of employers believe today’s qualifications adequately prepare candidates for real work. The research, which gathered views from more than 1000 small, medium and large businesses, revealed that:

·  57% of employers found acronyms on CVs confusing

·  64% have had to look up acronyms on the internet

·  95% of employers are unable to identify the most advanced qualification from a list of acronyms.

The importance of clarity for job seekers was highlighted by 64% employers thinking the use of jargon is used to cover up a lack of skills or qualifications.

Chrissie Maher OBE, founder and director of Plain English Campaign, said: “The research carried out by City & Guilds highlights a serious problem. Plenty of employers won’t have a clue about a candidate’s ability to do the job if they don’t know what a qualification is worth or even what it means. Acronyms are never a good idea, and all qualifications surely need to be written in full and, if they’re relatively new, with an explanation about how they compare with more traditional, well-known qualifications”.

“But it’s not just potential employers who lose out: job seekers could be wasting years of hard work on qualifications that employers won’t recognise.”

Kirstie Donnelly, UK managing director of City & Guilds, said: “It’s clear from this research, and our conversations with employers, that the education system is moving further and further away from the needs of business. High levels of youth unemployment and increasing skills gaps across many sectors show that the education young people are receiving is not helping them to develop relevant skills or enough understanding of the workplace to successfully compete and find employment, and our research shows employers are not getting what they need.

Kirstie Donnelly added: “We believe that by offering students a qualification which has been developed with and endorsed by employers we can equip our young people with the skills they need to be tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

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