Firms consider easing burden f graduate top-up fees

Some of Britain’s top employers are considering increasing their financial
support for graduate recruits once universities start charging top-up fees.

The annual Financial Times/Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) survey
reveals two-thirds of employers polled say they might offer more financial
support to graduates.

This comes in the wake of the Government’s January White Paper, The Future
of Higher Education, outlining plans to allow universities to charge tuition
fees of up to £3,000 a year.

A quarter of respondents believe it likely that their organisation will
increase starting salaries, nearly 10 per cent may offer larger joining bonuses
and a few say they may offer to pay off student debts accrued by employees.

More than 17 per cent of recruiters think it likely they will offer more
paid internships and more than 12 per cent that they may offer some

Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the AGR, said it shows employers are
considering bearing some of the cost of top-up fees. "They want new
recruits to concentrate on their induction and training rather than being over
worried about paying off debts," he said.

"It will be interesting to discover in time whether the remuneration
packages employers offer are going to influence graduate career choice."

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