Graduate starting salaries down by over £1,000 in last year

The average starting salary for graduates in 2010 is £22,968, down 4.2% from last year, according to preliminary findings from the XpertHR 2010/11 graduate recruitment survey.

“Early findings show that starting salaries for graduates will be significantly lower in the current graduate recruitment round – no doubt a result of the slack graduate job market following the recession,” says Rachel Suff, author of the XpertHR research.

However, there is some good news for graduates, with more than one-third of employers telling XpertHR that they are taking on more recruits compared with the previous recruitment cycle, so there are some early signs of recovery in the graduate job market.

Added to this, research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) suggests that graduate recruiters anticipate a more positive period in 2011. Speaking last week, AGR chief executive Carl Gilleard highlighted findings that point to the majority of graduate recruiters expecting their recruitment activity to remain steady or increase in 2011.

According to the summer edition of the AGR’s biannual survey of graduate recruiter confidence, 50% of respondents expect to fill the same number of vacancies in 2011 as they did this year, while just over 35% of respondents anticipate a higher number of vacancies in 2011. Just under 15% of respondents expect to offer fewer vacancies in 2011.

Meanwhile the number of applications for each graduate vacancy has been steadily increasing. The AGR survey finds that the average now stands at 69 applications per post, compared to 49 last year and 31 in 2008. Suff adds: “These statistics have significant implications for how and if employers take on graduates. The large pool of potential graduate recruits that employers are now fishing in does not necessarily make it easier to catch high quality trainees.”

There is still time to take part in this year’s XpertHR graduate recruitment survey and keep up to date with the latest trends by receiving a complementary copy of the full survey report as soon as it is published.

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