Graduates fear recession will lead to jobs squeeze

The majority of students graduating from university this year fear that a potential recession would hit their job prospects, according to a new study.

A survey of 306 UK graduates by consultants Accenture found that 59% were concerned that a weakening economy would result in fewer jobs being available upon graduation. More than two-thirds said that they had yet to find a job, while a third said they would be graduating with student loans totalling more than £15,000.

Despite these concerns, just 17% of students said they would compromise their personal job requirements.

Among the most important attributes respondents said they looked for in an employer were:

  • salary
  • interesting and challenging work
  • camaraderie with colleagues
  • formal training
  • flexible hours.

Peter Cheese, managing director of Accenture’s talent and organisation performance practice, said: “Generation Y is entering the workforce with strong values and demands that employers haven’t had to address with previous generations.

“To be relevant to these jobseekers, employers must find ways to satisfy their needs for balance, fun, mentoring and opportunities to grow and be challenged.”

The study also found that more than two-thirds of graduates said they expected to work less than 40 hours per week.

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