More graduate jobs available, study says

Tuula Ritakari

Graduate employment is expected to rise in 2013, claims High Fliers Research. Their recently published study found that 48% of graduate employers in Scotland have entry-level jobs available.

Overall the availability of UK graduate jobs is anticipated to rise by 2.7%. Scotland has the second highest amount of graduate jobs in the UK. On average, 50% of surveyed companies in England, excluding London, are offering jobs for graduates. London is the highest at 84%. 42% of employers in Wales have entry-level job, whilst Northern Ireland has just 25%.

The statistics of Glasgow graduates employed within 6 months from graduation correlates with the High Fliers research. 65% of those who responded had some form of paid or unpaid work.

A spokesperson for the University of Glasgow said: “The High Fliers data of 48% of Scottish companies offering graduate entry level jobs is accurate. Graduates from the University of Glasgow are increasingly recruited into graduate level jobs. Employment prospects for our graduates is also reflected in our positioning in popular newspaper league tables which improves year on year.”

Last year a study by the same organisation predicted graduate vacancies to rise by 6.4%, while in actuality they dropped by 0.8%. In the preceding year, their estimations were similarly over-optimistic, as vacancies only increased by 2.8%, as opposed to their estimation of 9.4%.

Even if the amount of entry-level positions for recent graduates does rise, difficult times will face those with no previous work experience. Employers warn that new graduates who have yet to enter the world of employment are very unlikely to get a job offer. In addition, they expect to fill one third of the places available with graduates who they have previously been employed through internships, industrial placements or vacation work.

Martin Birchall, Managing Director of High Fliers research, commented on the report: “This latest research confirms that taking part in work placements or internships whilst at university is now just as important as getting a 2.1 or a first-class degree.  Graduate recruiters warn that in a highly competitive job market, new graduates who’ve not had any work experience at all during their studies are increasingly unlikely to be offered a good graduate job after university.”

Employers also report a 7% increase in applications that they have received in this part of the recruitment cycle compared to the previous year, indicating competition is still strong.

Overall, an increase in graduate vacancies would continue a trend that, with the exception of last year, has been prevalent since the significant drops in vacancies in 2008-2009. However, the predicted figures of 2013 are still 11% lower than before the onset of recession.