More than one-quarter of all 2010’s graduate vacancies have already been filled by 2009 university leavers who had jobs deferred last year or by students who have had previous work experience with employers, it has emerged.
Just 74% of vacancies for 2010 will be available for final-year undergraduates and recent graduates, a new study of the UK’s 100 leading graduate employers has revealed. Some 4,000 jobs have already been filled by the backlog of 2009 graduates.
However, job prospects for graduates are brightening as employers reveal they expect to hire more university leavers in 2010 compared to the previous two years.
The largest recruiters of graduates in 2010 will be:
Source: The Graduate Market in 2010 report
Now, half of employers have stepped up their recruitment targets for 2010 and expect to hire 11.8% more graduates than they did in 2009.
Vacancies in areas such as investment banking have jumped by a more than one-third, The Graduate Market in 2010 report found.
It also revealed more positions at high-street banks and accounting and professional services firms. Consumer goods companies, engineering and industrial employers and the public sector were the only areas that predicted fewer opportunities, the study conducted by High Fliers Research found.
Meanwhile, an additional poll of more than 1,000 final-year students showed widespread concern among undergraduates about their career prospects.
Only 8% think they will get the job they want after graduation, half think they will have to take any job offered, and one-quarter admit they have been forced to apply to organisations they are not really interested in.
Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers Research, said it was encouraging that employers were stepping up graduate opportunities after two years of cuts, but added: “Competition for the remaining vacancies is likely to remain extremely tough and there is widespread concern on campus that this year’s graduate recruitment is shaping up to be just as difficult as in 2009.
“For those who have yet to begin job hunting, the chances of landing a place on a graduate programme in 2010 are looking increasingly slim.”
In October, Personnel Today reported how businesses that invest in graduate recruitment see a return on investment of more than 500%.