Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Hard times for the UK's Graduates

It’s clearly tough being a graduate these days.

A study by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit has found that Graduate unemployment has grown by 44 per cent in the past 12 months and is likely to be even higher next year.

Of those students who graduated in 2008, 7.9 per cent were not in employment in January 2009. Not since 1995 (when it stood at 8.1 per cent) has graduate unemployment been so high.

The report paints a bleak picture for the immediate future too: “It’s likely that unemployment for 2009 graduates may be even higher than that reported here,” says the study.

The situation varies from sector to sector:

Graduates in the construction industry have been particularly hard hit, as unemployment more than doubled from 2.9 per cent in 2007 to 8.5 per cent for 2008 leavers.

Graduate hiring in the finance sector fell to 7.5 per cent in 2008, from 8.7 per cent in 2007.

IT roles also saw a year-on-year decrease as consultants, software professionals and computer programmers fell by 18 per cent.

But it’s not all bad news (phew!): Public sector graduate recruitment remained buoyant despite the recession, with a year-on-year increase in healthcare, teaching and social work roles, the largest increase being in social work roles, where graduate numbers had surprisingly risen by 55 per cent since 2007.

For a graduate who’s fortunate to be in a job, the average salary is reported to be £19,677, an increase of two per cent from 2007.

People Management: Graduate unemployment jumps by 44 per cent in a year

  • How, if at all, are these figures likely to affect the intentions of school leavers to go to University?
  • What might be the negative impact on businesses that choose to neglect recruiting graduates?
  • Further research: read the HR Case Studies article entitled BT hangs up on graduate recruitment. What might have been the factors that persuaded BT to do a U-turn on its decision to pull out of graduate recruitment?

1 comment:

  1. I graduated four years ago and as such, experienced no shortage of graduate roles. I understand that it is far tougher now but I would urge anyone to go to university anyway. The situation will improve and when it does, you will have a valuable qualification. It may take a few years but you'll spend at least three of them at University.