The young generation was one of the groups hardest hit by the recession. End of last year, graduate unemployment reached its highest level since 1995, according to the Office for National Statistics. But there are good signs. In the winter edition of their bi-annual survey the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) mentions an upward trend in graduate vacancies for 2010 that goes on in 2011.
Expected vacancies for graduates
The report “The Graduate Market in 2011″ by High Fliers Research also reveals a positive outlook for graduates this year. According to the report, expected vacancies for graduates are set to increase in thirteen out of the fourteen main employment areas:
- The biggest growth recorded so far is at the accounting & professional services firms which, having expanded their recruitment by 700 extra graduate positions in 2010, are now planning to hire more than 350 additional graduates during the 2011 recruitment season.
- The investment banks and other banking & finance institutions are set to increase their recruitment too, by at least 500 new roles this year.
- There is a significant number of extra vacancies planned at consulting firms and IT & telecoms companies
London and East England hot spots for graduates
Where within the UK are employers expecting to employ graduates? According to the study, nine out of ten organisations are offering vacancies in London for 2011 and half plan to hire new recruits for positions in the south east of England. This confirms that almost every major employer does have opportunities within the region. The north west of England, the Midlands and the south west have the next highest numbers of employers recruiting graduates into the regions, followed by Yorkshire and the north east of England. Of all the English regions, East Anglia is the least likely to yield graduate vacancies. A total of 49% and 42% of employers have jobs on offer in Scotland and Wales respectively and 32% are recruiting for graduate opportunities in Northern Ireland.
Average graduate salary static at £25,000
Despite a brighter outlook in terms of vacancies, the median graduate starting salary was fixed at £25,000 for the second year in a row in 2009/2010 and is predicted to remain stagnant for a third year, according to the AGR survey. Many graduate employers will also be holding back other financial incentives for graduates.
“The fact that salaries are predicted to remain the same for a third year and fewer employers are offering financial incentives for graduates, is also evidence that the demand for jobs still greatly outstrips supply and recruiters continue to receive above and beyond the number of applications they require”, said Carl Gilleard, Chief Executive of the AGR
Which job functions are employers recruiting in 2011?
According to High Flyers Research, these are the type of job functions that employers are hoping to recruit graduates into in 2011.
- The most common requirement is for finance and IT vacancies — more than half of employers offer roles in these areas, irrespective of their organisation’s main purpose.
- Two-fifths of employers have vacancies in engineering, human resources or general management and a third are recruiting for marketing positions.
- Fewer than a fifth of employers are recruiting for consulting or investment banking roles and just ten organisations have media vacancies.