HR Pros Say H.S. Grads Aren't Ready for Workforce

January 29, 2002 ( - A majority of human resource professionals feel that high school graduates are not qualified to enter the workforce, a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows.

However, they also say that school-to-work (STW) programs help to address the skills gap and have a positive impact on the surrounding community and educational system.

Among the survey’s findings:

  • 61% of HR professionals disagree or strongly disagree that most High school graduates are qualified to enter the workforce.
  • 95% of respondents reported that paid work experience programs were effective with subsequent hiring; meanwhile 88% said the same of mentoring programs.
  • 58% of survey respondents said that job shadowing is effective (to varying degrees) in addressing this gap. 
  • 83% of respondents said STW programs have a positive impact on the surrounding community/educational system. 81% of respondents said workplace mentoring was effective on the surrounding community/educational system while 70 percent said the same of job shadowing programs.
  • 83% said paid work experience programs have a positive impact on students entering the workforce.

The survey was based on the responses of 393 SHRM members.