City financial firms are increasingly looking abroad to hire new recruits because foreign university graduates are felt to be more mature than their British counterparts, according to a new report.
Many financial and business services firms were unhappy with the skill levels of UK students, particularly their inability to manage their time and work, the study by the City of London corporation found.
Businesses, it said, needed to work more closely with universities to design relevant degree courses for students.
The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman David Brewer, said: "To maintain its competitive edge as a world-class financial centre, the City must ensure that the most skilled people keep coming to work here.
"This research shows that more than ever employers need graduates who can apply their education practically."
Both graduates and their bosses often found the transition from university to the world of work quite difficult.
"In particular, some graduates appear poorly prepared for the demands placed upon their ability to manage their time and prioritise their workload," he said.
Financial firms and related business services were "leaning towards increased recruitment of foreign graduates", both overseas students studying in Britain and students from foreign universities, the report added.
In a separate development, a study has found that half of FTSE-100 companies still do not use online job application forms.
Just 51 of the top 100 firms allowed job applicants to use forms on their websites, according to talent management firm Taleo.
The other 49 were missing out on massive opportunities to improve their recruitment processes and benefit their business.
Taleo Research vice president Alice Snell said: "These findings indicate that many of the top companies in the UK have still not implemented technology-enabled best practices in recruitment.
"These findings show FTSE 100 companies need to consider the best ways to attract and retain talent within their organisations," she added.
An online careers section that only accepted CV applications was no longer enough to make a recruitment process competitive, Snell added.
"The research shows that many UK organisations are yet to take advantage of capturing structured candidate data and, therefore, are potentially missing opportunities to reduce their recruitment costs, improve their speed of hiring and enhance their ability to recruit the best talent," she said.