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Wednesday 29th May 2024, 2:00 PM (BST)

Employment set to pick up for UK graduates; finance leads

Employment set to pick up for UK graduates; finance leads

Finance is at the forefront of an upturn in graduate recruitment this year, according to new figures.

It’s an anxious time of year for many students, as exams give way to the inevitable period of waiting before results are published. In spite of the career advantages that a degree can bring, too, many will also be worrying about finding their first job. But for those who are concerned about their employment prospects once they graduate, some good news has appeared over the horizon.

New figures released by research company Incomes Data Services show that employers across the UK are planning to increase their graduate recruitment throughout this year. In fact, the number of graduates being hired could rise by as much as 18 per cent throughout 2014, as economic recovery leads to a spike in demand for talent at many companies. Given that last year employers only hired 4.3 per cent more graduates than they had in 2012, that represents a dramatic improvement.

Finance is still one of the UK’s biggest industries, so it is perhaps unsurprising that this sector is leading the way. In part due to the renewed hiring intentions of big companies like the “big four” accountancy firms, the financial services sector is expected to up its recruitment by as much as 42 per cent.

After a protracted period of economic turmoil in the past few years, the manufacturing industry is also in positive mood, with recruitment expected to grow by an above average 22 per cent. The services sector is also set to perform strongly, with a similar percentage of firms reporting that they plan to hire more graduates.

Competition remains strong, with the number of applicants for every vacancy rising from 49 to 60, IDS says, but there are more vacancies on offer than there were just one year ago.

Indeed, figures released by Adzuna just last week indicated that graduate vacancies advertised online last month rose by 37 per cent from May 2013. In some companies there are still unfilled vacancies for this year’s graduate roles – nearly nine out of ten respondents to a poll by the Association of Graduate Recruiters said this was the case, with IT, engineering and general management roles among them.

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