Graduates pessimistic over career prospects

Most graduates believe there will be fewer jobs available this year in the
wake of 11 September.

The UK Graduate Careers Survey 2002 shows graduate confidence of getting the
right job is at a low.

Only four out of 10 students graduating this summer expect to start a job
after university compared to one in two graduates in 1998.

Almost two-thirds of the 13,722 students questioned by researchers High
Fliers, believe that there will be a reduction in the number of graduate job
vacancies this year because of events since 11 September.

A quarter of graduates claim they will take any job offered to them or work
for a company they do not want to work for.

Due to the lack of confidence in finding a job, students have made 10 per
cent more job applications than last year’s graduates.

They expect to earn an average £18,700 a year – an increase of just 1 per
cent on last year, compared to expected salary rises of between 6 and 10 per
cent for the past six years.

Carl Gilleard, chief executive at the Association of Graduate Recruiters,
believes students have overreacted to the state of the jobs market:

"If only 40 per cent of graduates went into the labour market there
would be a big skills crisis. "Student confidence is easily moved and I
suspect they have been affected by headline stories. I believe there are more
jobs and money available than students think," he said.

HR applications are down by 12 per cent from last year, a figure Gilleard
finds surprising. "I have been working in HR since the late 1980s and it
had always been a very popular career choice," he said.

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