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A recent survey by independent graduate recruitment research body High Fliers Research has shown that a number of top employers will be seeking to hire more recent graduates in 2013.
The report, entitled ‘The Graduate Market in 2013’ and published on 14th January, revealed that although the employment market stalled last year, during which time top employers recruited fewer graduates than was expected, this year there will be a greater number of entry-level vacancies for university graduates leaving in 2013.
The BBC reports that top employers plan to hire 18,306 graduates, which is a rise of 2.7% from last year’s statistics. The biggest growth in vacancies is expected at public sector employers, retailers and engineering & industrial companies. The largest recruiters of graduates in 2013 will be Teach First (1260 vacancies), Deloitte (1,200 vacancies) and PwC (1,200 vacancies).
These results are likely to be encouraging to many students and universities alike, as students will find themselves becoming more employable to top employers, which in turn may increase the value of degrees as perceived by younger students who are perhaps unsure of whether university education is worth the money – a concern that has been reflected in the apparent decline in UCAS applications.
However, the survey results emphasise how important work experience is in acquiring graduate jobs. The BBC claims that ‘over half the recruiters polled warned that graduates with no previous work experience… would be unlikely to get jobs on their graduate programmes.’
In addition to this, the BBC claims that ‘more than a third of firms’ surveyed expected to fill many of their positions with graduates who had already worked for them, via ‘internships, industrial placements or vacation jobs’. This is likely to increase the competition for internships and work experience, but, it is reported that ‘some 80% of employers confirmed they were offering paid work experience’ for students and graduates, as well as offering placements that could last up to a year.
Pam Tatlow, chief executive of university think-tank Million+ – a group which aims to solve problems within higher education and is involved in much political debate to do with the role of universities within society – said that ‘Britain will only become a fairer place when… companies adopt a more enlightened approach”’ to employing people who have graduated from a wide variety of universities, and that these companies must accept ‘that there are talented and entrepreneurial people of all ages graduating from all of the UK’s universities’.
Managing director of High Fliers Research, Martin Birchall stated:
‘It’s welcome news that Britain’s best-known and most sought-after employers are offering more jobs for graduates this year, particularly after a drop in vacancies for university-leavers in 2012.
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.’