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Update on the graduate labour market


Stephen Isherwood, head of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, has provided an overview of the graduate market that I thought might be of interest:

“The AGR’s headline data reports a healthy market for graduate job seekers. For three years in a row the number of graduate vacancies has increased; this year, AGR employers are predicting an overall rise of 11.9%. The highest growth sectors are IT, Telecoms and construction, all reporting a 20% plus increase in planned hiring. But the graduate market is not one homogenous whole, it’s a series of distinct labour markets with different traits. Vacancies in the FMCG sector, for example, are flat this year.

And the healthy headlines hide the dysfunctions in the graduate market. In 2014, nearly 50% of AGR employers didn’t fill their vacancies. That’s 1,422 positions left vacant because employers couldn’t find enough graduates with the required mix of knowledge, skills and attributes.

A day doesn’t seem to pass without a report published highlighting the UK’s skills shortage. At the AGR, we are seeing some employers reconsider how they recruit young talent. The word student is replacing graduate in many a recruiter’s job title as employers create school-leaver programmes. High profile graduate employers are ditching UCAS points as a screening tool to increase the diversity of their intake. Marketing initiatives that once targeted final year students also now aimed at first years. As the population of young people continues to decline and the demand for student talent increases, the pressures on employers, policy makers and educators are only going to increase”.


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