Cara Skikne
9 months ago

universities can address critical workforce gaps


As economies around the world grapple with dwindling productivity, new analysis from international management consultancy Nous Group highlights the opportunity universities have in addressing critical workforce gaps.

In a new paper, University as connector, Nous draws on Lightcast’s labour market insights and Studyportals’ global view of study demand to provide a powerful evidence base for universities to generate greater value for industry partners and students and to further invest in their own mission by matching the needs and wants of students and employers.

Nous Group Principal and author of the paper, Peter Wiseman, said: “Workforce gaps are having wide-ranging impacts on industries across the globe and threatening the sustainability of many businesses and organisations. At the heart of these workforce gaps is not so much a skills shortage but a skills mismatch which has been intensifying over the last 10 years.”

The paper demonstrates how universities can help build the workforce of the future by identifying specific employers and industry skill needs, collaboratively developing industry-linked approaches to attract and retain students, and focus marketing and recruitment to best effect.

Wiseman continued: “For many employers and industries, tight employment markets and worker availability means that workforce challenges cannot be satisfied through the local labour market alone.

“Attracting international talent is essential and universities have an important role to play when demand from employers for skills is not aligned to study interest areas identified by prospective students.”

Alongside recruitment activity, the paper outlines an approach the universities can adopt to connect and assess industry and student demand and understand where and how to play the role as connector between students and employers. This provides a powerful way to help students connect into work during their studies, help employers address talent gaps, and help the university invest in its mission.

Wiseman added: “While in some fields employer demand and student demand is evenly matched, there is greater opportunity for universities to work with industry to deliver more meaningful benefits to students, communities and economies.

“Acting as a skills connector will not only enable stronger graduate outcomes and strengthen relationships with industry, it will give universities an edge in today’s competitive recruitment markets while also advancing their academic missions.”

About Nous Group

Nous Group is an international management consultancy with over 750 people working across Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada.

Nous’ broad consulting capability spans strategy, organisational performance, leadership and capability, transformation and implementation, economics, public policy, data and analytics, digital and design. By partnering with clients and complementing their strengths, Nous helps businesses, governments and community organisations transform to realise a bigger idea of success.

Founded in Australia, Nous has been delivering positive influence that significantly improves people’s lives since 1999. Find out more at

About Studyportals

Studyportals is the global study choice platform. Their mission is to empower the world to choose education by making study choice transparent, globally. Over 50 million students use Studyportals platforms per year to find and compare their study options across borders and select the right programme. At the same time, their results-based channels help universities with marketing and international student recruitment, by enabling them to reach a global audience and diversify their student population. Studyportals’ mission is to make the world understand and access the power of learning and does this by making education choices transparent and accessible to students worldwide.

About Lightcast

Lightcast is the world’s leading authority on job skills, workforce talent, and labour market dynamics, providing expertise that empowers businesses, education providers, and governments to find the skills and talent they need, and enables workers to unlock new career opportunities.

With engineers and data specialists continually collecting and analysing data from thousands of job boards, company websites, online resumes, employee profiles, and traditional government sources, the company produces the most comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the labour market available.

Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and Moscow, Idaho, Lightcast is active in more than 30 countries and has offices in the United Kingdom, Italy, New Zealand, Canada, and India. The company is backed by global private equity leader KKR.

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