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Encouraging news on graduate vacancies


The Association of Graduate Recruiter’s Winter Survey has predicated that graduate vacancies are likely to rise by 11.9% this year

Employers predict a double-digit rise in graduate vacancies in the coming year, according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), which published the winter edition of its bi-annual survey this week. The survey predicts an 11.9% rise in vacancies for the coming recruitment round, following an increase of 4.3% last year. This demonstrates a sustained optimism amongst AGR members in the context of a steadily growing UK economy.

Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the AGR, said: “Graduate vacancies continue to grow year on year and graduates are still more likely to be employed than non-graduates. But tensions persist. Employers would have recruited more graduates, over 1,400 more, if they could have found enough candidates with the right mix of skills.”

AGR members reported 1,422 unfilled vacancies in 2014. The largest proportion occurred in the IT/Telecoms sector, where 11.8% of graduate vacancies remained unfilled. The reasons given for this are varied. Some employers report students reneging on offers whereas others cite lack of skills, technical, professional or both.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter (26.5%) of graduate roles in 2013/14 were filled by people who had previously worked for the same employer, for example through an internship or placement.

“The importance of work experience cannot be stressed to students enough,” Isherwood continued. “Candidates that understand the world of work, understand their own skills and can translate that into a compelling proposition are much more likely to be successful in the jobs market”.

Sectors to predict a growth in vacancies from 2014 to 2015 include IT and Telecoms (26.9%), and the Public Sector (23%) but Construction (22.1%) and Engineering (19.7%) are also confident of a rise in graduate positions. The largest recruiting sector in 2013/14 remains Accountancy and Professional Services (22.2%), followed by the Public Sector (13.3%), but Engineering (12.7%) has leapfrogged the Retail sector to take third place*.

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