Tag Archives: Graduate employment

More top graduates training as teachers?

The proportion of trainee teachers with top degrees rose to an unprecedented level in 2011-12, according to the latest official figures.

Two-thirds of postgraduate trainees in 2011-12 had a first or a 2:1, data from the Department for Education suggests. This was a rise of three percentage points on 2010-11.

Teaching unions welcomed the figures but said the overall picture on teacher recruitment was patchy, with evidence of shortages in some areas.

However Charlie Taylor, chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said the figures were extremely good news. “Children deserve excellent teachers and today’s statistics show the profession is attracting more of the country’s top-tier graduates,” said Mr Taylor.

Some 12% of postgraduate trainees, more than 3,000, had a first class degree, up two percentage points on the year before. And the proportion of those with a 2:1 was 55% or almost 15,000 – up one percentage point.

There was a two percentage point fall in the proportion of those with a 2:2 – to 27.4% or 7,450 trainees – and a very slight drop in those with third class degrees, the government says.

Overall, 32,900 trainee teachers completed their courses in 2011-12. Of these 27,144 were postgraduates.

The figures also showed a rise in the number of newly qualified teachers getting jobs within six months of qualifying.

Of those whose employment status was known, some 91% had secured a job by January 2012 – a rise of at least 5% on 2010-11. “Schools recognise this increase in quality and more trainee teachers are finding jobs quickly,” said Mr Taylor.

The figures combine data on the numbers of teachers trained by universities, from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, as well as figures for non-university trainees collected directly from training providers by the National College for Training and Leadership. These figures pre-date the government’s School Direct programme which began the following year. School Direct is designed to boost the numbers of teachers trained directly by schools with support from universities.

Some experts have raised concerns that the picture from more recent years may be of emerging shortages of teachers in some areas.

Brian Lightman of the Association of School and College leaders described the increases in the number of trainees with good degrees as “very good news”. “However, there are still issues with certain subjects and in certain areas of the country. Many schools report that they are struggling to recruit high quality teachers in core subjects, especially maths, English and science. With the recent changes to initial teacher training, the big picture about where the gaps are has been lost. It must be a priority for the government to reinstate a national strategy for ensuring that there are sufficient numbers of high quality teaching graduates coming through in every subject.”

Chris Keates of the NASUWT teaching union said the increase in the proportion of trainee teachers with top degrees began “long before this government took office”. “Today’s figures simply confirm the continuation of this long-term trend and reflect continuing increases in the proportion of 2:1 and first degrees awarded by higher education institutions.”

Ms Keates added preliminary figures for the following year suggested a fall in the number of applicants for teacher training places of “almost 15%” in 2012. “Concerns expressed by teachers, school leaders and training providers that the teacher training system is heading towards crisis continue to be ignored by ministers. The adverse implications of the DfE’s policies on pay, conditions and professional status are undermining the attractiveness of teaching and placing the sufficient supply of high quality graduate teachers at serious risk.”

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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.

Teaching scheme ‘biggest graduate recruiter’

An initiative to recruit talented graduates to teach in deprived areas is now the biggest destination for university leavers, according to a survey of major UK employers.

Teach First has overtaken traditional big recruiters in banking, finance and the civil service.

The teaching scheme, launched in 2002, hired 1,261 graduates this year.

Prime Minister David Cameron praised the scheme for its “belief in its power to change lives”.

These latest recruitment figures are from High Fliers, based on a survey of 100 major graduate employers.

The figures show that Teach First has overtaken the finance firms and the Army to make it to the top spot this year. It is also the fastest growing scheme in the UK currently.

The Teach First charity was set up to send ambitious and motivated young teachers into schools serving deprived areas, with the aim of raising standards.

It has been claimed as part of the success of the London Challenge, which saw results in the capital outstrip other parts of England.

It has been expanding across England and Wales, with the aim of recruiting 2,000 graduates a year from 2015.

Trainees have six weeks of intensive training, with their subsequent training taking place in school, where they spend two years.

“It’s a remarkable achievement that Teach First has hired so many top graduates this year, overtaking recruitment at long-established graduate employers,” says Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers Research, which tracks the graduate labour market.

Teach First has also produced an analysis of its own recruits. There were 80% from leading Russell Group universities, but almost a quarter had been eligible for free meals at school and a third had been the first in their families to go to university. This is good news for those children who are disadvantaged and shows that teaching is becoming a popular profession, despite there seeming to be a lot of unsatisfied teachers in the profession according to the unions. I’m hoping that this news keeps up.

Graduate employment on the rise!

Graduate vacancies at Britain’s “top” employers are at their highest since 2008, new research suggests.

Britain’s 100 “leading employers” have 4.6% more jobs for new graduates than in 2012, High Fliers Research said.

But its study of the 2013 graduate market said there were still an average 46 applicants for each position.

Last month the Higher Education Statistics Agency said it believed 10% of UK students remained unemployed six months after graduating in 2012.

The latest study suggests that the rise in vacancies for graduates is higher than expected.

Earlier this year, the same group of employers predicted that graduate vacancies would increase by 2.7%.

The data is based on responses from the 100 organisations which a poll of 18,000 final year students at 30 selected universities identified as offering the best career opportunities.

Despite this year’s increase in recruitment, “vacancies for university leavers at the UK’s best known and most popular employers remain below the pre-recession intake seen in 2007,” says the report, The Graduate Market in 2013.

Vacancies for new graduates dropped by 17.8% between 2008 and 2009, sprang back in 2010 but dipped again last year.

The report also predicts a further increase next year, which is good news for those like myself graduating next year.

Whilst this looks good for the very top employers, the report doesn’t hold any suggestions as to what may happen further down the chain. What I’m hoping for is some report about the number of graduates who are entering the teaching profession some time soon, as that will give the profession a good indicator of what Mr Gove’s education destruction plans … I mean reforms have been doing, particularly when we have seen strikes and reports of teachers leaving the profession or wanting to leave.