Fall in graduate vacancies?

Well yesterday we heard that a teaching scheme has become the biggest graduate recruiter, nice little high note. Today is sadly the opposite.

This summer’s university leavers face a tougher jobs market, with a forecast of a 4% fall in graduate vacancies.

The Association of Graduate Recruiter (AGR) annual summer survey shows that leading UK employers are receiving an average of 85 applications per job. The survey shows a sharp downturn in jobs in banking and finance.

“The current graduate market is the story of the economy, stagnant in places with growth in some areas,” says the AGR’s Stephen Isherwood.

The president of the National Union of Students, Toni Pearce, said: “While some areas are performing better than others it’s clear that those leaving education face ever greater competition for jobs.”

This latest view of the graduate jobs market, based on 200 employers, suggests a mixed picture, with some recruitment areas getting tougher, while others are improving.

Graduates in the current climate are finding it difficult to get on to recruitment schemes. In the current climate, there are around 85 applicants applying for each job.

David Priestman suggests that their are high numbers of applicants, but too many of them have unrealistic expectations and lacked the right skills.

“The problem is that today’s graduates want the dream jobs. However, unless you have good contacts or an exceptional degree, it isn’t going to happen,” he said.

Stephen Isherwood, the new AGR chief executive, said: “Overall vacancies are slightly down on last year and there is no salary growth. However we can take comfort in the fact that the graduate recruitment industry is still investing heavily in their graduate intakes.

“On the positive side of things, retailers, consulting and engineering firms, utilities and IT and telecoms companies are all recruiting more graduates.

“With these results in mind, my message to students is do not despair; graduate employers are broadly hiring the same number of graduates as they did before the credit crunch hit. Be competitive and strategic in your approach to applications – and keep persevering.”

This mid-year survey, with its picture of a graduate jobs market still struggling to recover, is less optimistic than another recent survey of 100 employers from High Fliers, which found that vacancies were bouncing back to their highest levels since the recession.

That survey, on a smaller sample of employers, had found there were 4.6% more vacancies than last year.

This shows the importance of getting a large enough sample of employers to record data. I do however stand in hopeful optimism that the number of vacancies will be on the rise in the next couple of years, especially in education as that is my profession, but in every profession for the sake of our economy.


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