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Challenges faced by graduates & students in the workplace

Thriving in employment is difficult for those lacking people skills. The first challenge is finding a job, where many lack good interview and communication skills. 

Youth unemployment rate is 11.2%, nearly double the national average”


Everyone has experienced the challenges in job search, but it won’t stop there. When hired, challenges in training and integrating into the workforce of your new job arise. 

Areas where youth struggle

Lack of human skills

Interpersonal and people skills are used for effective communication, collaboration and leadership in the workplace. Those who lack these skills may find themselves struggling to connect & communicate with others. 

These individuals may have fewer relationships in the workplace & find it difficult to reach out for help. This makes it difficult to thrive in employment, especially where teamwork and collaboration is a priority throughout industries.

Thriving in work depends on both sets of skills, however technical skills are those mainly taught in school.

Lack of experience

Theory and concepts in school will give good grades. But this knowledge is difficult to apply.  Entry-level individuals struggle to “know where to start” when given tasks at work. Applying what you know in school and in employment are very different.  Unfortunately, application and adaptability skills are not taught enough in post-secondary. 

Time management

Students struggle with this in school & if they don’t learn proper time management skills in education, it will drag them down in employment. 

In employment, schedules are longer and strict. If students struggle with time management around schedules they choose in school, they will struggle in employment with less time for themselves and a schedule chosen by others.

High expectations with low appreciation

In entry-level jobs/co-op positions, expectations are high. Tasks are thrown at the new employee without much structure and oftentimes, they are compensated at a lower rate. There is less feedback and time for appreciation shown by employers. This is discouraging to new employees as they are used to constant feedback from professors. 

Many graduates don’t have time and aren’t in a financial place to take jobs that offer less compensation. In contrast, employers are less inclined to hire entry-level individuals on a regular wage to avoid turnover costs. 

Questioning themselves

Many graduates will question if they spent years studying for the right degree. Many entry-level jobs won’t fit their expectations, so they believe they didn’t pursue the right career. This sprouts from not being career-ready in terms of expectation and applying knowledge. 

Mentorship and career prep is crucial DURING education. Students must be adaptable prepared for the transition into what employers expect. 

Read more: Now what? Problems graduates encounter in the workplace

Institution role in students’ workforce preparation

Students attend post-secondary for higher education. This is driven by the want for a better income and lifestyle. As a result, institutions should be focusing on preparing students for the realities of a career? 

Preparing students for the workforce is not a top priority for post-secondary schools. Employers hire those with industry knowledge AND skills that are used in daily life. These include time management, interpersonal, collaboration, communication and leadership skills. 

Views on career readiness

83% of educators feel youth are prepared for the workplace whereas 34% of employers and 44% of youth agree


A majority of educators feel students are prepared for employment. Could this be why workforce prep is not a priority in these schools?

Additionally, less than 50% of employers and youth believe students are prepared for work. As a result, an obvious gap exists and students are left unprepared.

Only 9 percent of Canadian employers indicate they are in frequent contract with education providers and 20 per cent indicate that they have no contact.


Bridging the gap between employers, students and institutions would give educators an opportunity. They will be given the chance to change the lack of workforce preparation. Schools would then focus on giving students the needed information they need to prepare themselves for employment. 

For example, if employers and institutions were connected, they would have useful information. They can educate students on employer needs and industry-specific expectations.

As a result, students could prepare for positions by exercising these skills. As a result, career-readiness is improved. 

How can Motify help?

Motify bridges the gap between students, schools and employers. They partner with companies to smooth out the education to employment transition for students. As a result, they also simplify entry-level hiring for companies.

Students are evaluated based on field of study, GPA and qualifications which matched with company positions according to company-set preferences and culture.

This helps companies find the best-fit entry-level individuals to avoid turnover while connecting students and grads to employers that are willing to train and mentor them. 

This bridging will give students insight to employer information such as their expectations, preferences in terms of educational qualifications AND other skills that will help them thrive in the industry. 


To learn more about how Motify connects students & institutions with employers, click the following according to your role: 

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