‘Golden hellos’ to help ease graduate burden

More
employers should offer graduates one-off joining fees or interest-free loans to
help ease the burden of starting a first job and attract the right candidates,
the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) says.

With
the average graduate around £10,000 in debt, the idea of a ‘golden hello’
payment will often help them decide between employers.

Carl
Gilliard, chief executive of the AGR, claims the payments offer organisations a
chance to get ahead of rivals while helping graduates to settle into the
workplace.

"It
gives companies a competitive edge and increasingly employers recognise that
starting work for the first time is an expensive business," he told
delegates at this week’s AGR conference.

"It
makes sense for employers to offer loans and joining fees. Organisations should
help to reduce the anxiety of starting work and all the costs associated with
that."

The
latest AGR research shows that one in four companies are now offering golden
hellos, but NUS president Mandy Telford said not enough companies recognised
the benefits.

"Ten
thousand pounds is just the average amount of debt and many students will owe
much more. To work effectively graduates might have to buy a suit or a car and
if a company is in a position to offer these things they should," she
said.

By Ross Wigham

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