Industry & academia

How employers can partner with universities to close the skills gap

Explore how schools tackle the widening skills gap by partnering with employers. Learn the benefits, from internships to human skills training. Discover how AI platforms like 1Mentor assist schools in addressing industry demands, bridging the gap for graduates with personalized recommendations.

May 16, 2023

Schools are vital players in closing the widening skills gap that is currently leaving graduates eager to enter the workforce unemployed while the number of unfilled job openings simultaneously increases. Partly this is due to unrealistic requirements for entry-level jobs; partly, it’s due to the schools’ struggle to keep up with changing demands in the industry. As such, schools are starting to invest in creating and sustaining partnerships with employers to benefit job recruiters and applicants. 

Employers struggle to find new hires because everyone is looking for employees with experience, but too few businesses are willing to be the ones that give that experience. It is understandable, considering that the prospect of a high rotation is risky and expensive; however, unfilled job offers, or risky hires are not the only two options. It’s in everyone’s best interest for both businesses and universities to work together. For schools and universities that have already decided to partner up with employers whose interests align, it is crucial to identify the right employers. 

Large university auditorium in which some students are seen listening to a class from a professor

A great way to connect with the proper key players is to get involved in existing platforms designed to help close the skills gap. 1Mentor works with AI technology to analyze the change in industry demands. Post-secondary institutions can benefit from this technology to identify patterns of which areas their students and recent graduates need to catch up. That way, they will know what to look for in employers that are potential partners in helping them close the skills gap. 

How does partnering with employers benefit schools and their students

  • Schools can offer internship and work-study programs. This is the most common way for students to gain practical experience; however, students need help finding an internship that aligns with their career path. By partnering with employers, schools can match student profiles to internship offers.
  • Provide experiential learning experience. Aside from internships, students can shadow or assist employers in their day-to-day operations and learn more about the industry they are preparing for. 
  • Human skills training. By exposing students to a real-life professional environment, students develop essential human skills such as communication, teamwork, and emotional skills. Working side by side with people in a company is quite different than the individual dynamic of university life, where work performance depends mainly on the individual.

Close up of fist bumps on a desk full of books, notepads and computers

Partnerships make offering these learning opportunities to students easier. By working with 1Mentor, schools can access these opportunities directly. Personalized recommendations also provide important insight into what particular opportunities are a better fit for each student.

While some students have naturally developed human skills, others might need to focus specifically on training these skills. Similarly, some students know how to work in teams effectively but lack the specialized skills employers require. Instead of offering generalized learning opportunities to students, schools can use our advanced technology to access real-time insights on the specific skills each student needs.