Graduate starting salaries forecast to rise by 4.8%

The number of vacancies for graduates has risen for the second year in a row and graduate salaries are predicted to rise by the biggest margin in five years.

The AGR Graduate Recruitment survey 2005 reveals that the number of graduate positions is predicted to increase this year by 14.5%. Last year vacancies rose by 15.5%.

Employers are expecting to pay new graduates a median starting salary of £22,000 in 2005 – an increase of 4.8% on 2004, the biggest predicted increase for five years.

The results are dominated by a huge increase in salaries and vacancies in the accountancy sector, where starting salaries for graduates in some parts of the UK are forecast to exceed £25,000 for the first time.

Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the AGR, said the significant increases in the number of vacancies this year – building on a substantial increase last year – suggests that business confidence was high across most sectors.

“Predicted salary increases of 4.8% are very generous and indicate that employers continue to recognise the value that top graduates bring to businesses,” he said. “It also suggests that among recruiters competition for the best graduates is intensifying.”

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