Graduate starting salaries reach £21,000

Starting
salaries for graduates have hit £21,000 amid the first rise in vacancies since
2001, a survey of blue-chip firms has shown.

London
and the South East are fuelling the demand for degree holders, generating the
highest wages and the most jobs, according to the poll for the Association of
Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

Just
8 per cent of new graduate vacancies were to be found in Scotland, Wales and
Northern Ireland, which also paid the lowest salaries.

The
poll of 223 large employers showed that demand for graduates should continue to
rise next year as well, with 82 per cent saying they expected to maintain or
increase recruitment.

In
2004, AGR members reported a 15.5 per cent rise in vacancies, compared with
small falls in 2003 and 2002.

Average
starting salaries rose by 3.4 per cent from last year’s figure of £20,300.

AGR
chief executive Carl Gilleard said: "The findings are good news for the
graduate recruitment industry and great news for graduates themselves."

By Mike Berry

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