Study: 1 in 2 Greek Potential Employees Lack Skills the Market Needs

Despite high unemployment figures, Greek businesses find it difficult to hire because one in two potential employees lacks the skills the market requires, a study shows.

According to research carried out by the Greek branch of Ernst & Young, the Athens University of Economics and Business and Endeavor Greece, 77 percent of employers have difficulties in finding the right personnel.

The main problems cited by employers are lack of technical skills (29 percent of participants cited this as a problem), followed by inadequate experience (cited by 27 percent of employers) and lack of personal skills (12 percent).

The phenomenon is largely attributed to the structure of the Greek education system, which does not encourage vocational studies and is detached from the market needs.

The study shows that 37 percent of Greek students choose the humanities (13 percent), social sciences (12 percent) and educational sciences (12 percent). Furthermore, 53 percent of students choose studies that would not contribute to Greece’s economic growth.

Characteristically, only 4 percent of Greek students choose to study information technology, when last year 22.7 percent of hirings were for IT jobs.

On the contrary, Greek students seem to choose traditional vocations that have ceased to be profitable given the current recession climate. For instance, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of students studying architecture between 2008 and 2015 even though the Greek construction sector is practically non-existent.