UK on course for graduate jobs boom despite economic uncertainty

Graduate vacancies are set to increase for the fifth year running, in spite of uncertainties regarding the UK’s current economic situation, research has suggested.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters Winter Review 2008, a survey of 217 of the UK’s leading employers of graduates, revealed that the number of vacancies anticipated would increase by 16%.

Salaries for graduates will also increase by roughly 2% to a median of £24,000.

Investment banks and law firms are now running neck and neck as the most generous paymasters, while the public sector has fallen to the bottom of the league table.

A third of employers pay graduates lump-sum payments at the start of their career, with the average being £2,000.

However, recruiters still envisage they will face difficulties in filling all vacancies, with 67% anticipating challenges. Reasons for this include graduate perceptions of the business sector and their increasing selectiveness. For employers, not enough applicants with the right skills was the major issue.

Carl Gilleard, AGR chief executive, said: “The findings of our survey will make encouraging reading for graduates entering the workforce this year, as the market appears to be as buoyant as it has been for the past five years.

“However, the anticipated recruitment shortfall makes worrying reading, particularly in certain sectors, where recruiters fear they will not fill a significant number of the vacancies available.”

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