Employers say George Brown leads GTA colleges in producing graduates with most important skills

Soft skills most highly valued

TORONTO, May 30, 2011 /CNW/ - Toronto-area employers have identified George Brown College as the College producing graduates with the skills they value most.

According to a recent study by Northstar Research Partners commissioned by the college, employers singled out George Brown as their top choice for producing graduates with the right mix of soft and hard skills. In fact, employers were approximately twice as likely to single out George Brown College graduates for their soft skills than any other college in the GTA, and placed the college first in each of the 13 skill categories identified. In addition, employers viewed George Brown as the college producing the highest quality graduates overall, a full 12 per cent higher than the second most favourably perceived college.

The research study continued to support results that George Brown has seen for several years - that the skills most important to employers hiring new staff are soft skills, including customer service, teamwork and productivity, as well as the ability to communicate with different cultures, oral communication and interpersonal skills. Specific job related skills continue to be viewed by employers as a minimum entry requirement, ranking a distant 10th on the list.  The effective manner in which George Brown and colleges generally have responded to this evolving employment trend explains why a large majority of employers (58 per cent) who intend to hire this year, plan to recruit a college graduate.

"George Brown College has made understanding and meeting the needs of GTA employers its principal mandate," said George Brown College President Anne Sado. "We are proud to see that employers are recognizing our commitment to their needs, and we will continue our efforts to strengthen our industry partnerships to improve even further."

Sado says the continued demand of college graduates among employers — especially George Brown College graduates — is evident in the College's application and enrolment numbers, with applications increasing by more than 50 per cent and enrolment growing 70 per cent since 2003. She attributes the surge in demand for George Brown graduates to the ability of the College to evolve with the new realities in the workplace.

"Employers don't just need graduates who have the skills to do the job; they need well-rounded graduates who can add immediate value to the organization," she said. "Today that means knowing how to provide superior customer service, demonstrating communication skills, and helping a company realize greater productivity via strong teamwork."

The research study polled via telephone a sample of 705 GTA employers across multiple economic sectors, including health sciences, hospitality and culinary arts, business, construction, computers, engineering, community services and early childhood education. Polling took place between November 24 and December 20, 2010.

About George Brown College
Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. From its two main campuses located across the downtown core, George Brown offers nearly 160 programs across a wide variety of professions to a student body of 60,000 (including those enrolled in full-time, part-time and continuing education programs). Students can earn diplomas, post-graduate certificates, industry accreditations, apprenticeships and four-year bachelor degrees.

SOURCE George Brown College

For further information:

or to book an interview, please contact:
Robyn Breslow
APEX Public Relations
(416) 924-4442 / ext. 256

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