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Graduates with work experience more valuable, shows research

Graduates with work experience more valuable, shows research

Graduates with work experience bring more value to a company, according to research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

AGR’s first annual development report surveyed 191 companies and found that graduates who started out as interns stayed with a company for six months longer than those who did not.

According to the report, graduate development programmes typically last for two years, and the average graduate who attends the programme will end up staying with a company for 4.4 years on average. Research also showed that for a two-year programme, employers invest around £2,500 for the training and development of graduates.

Career change

Over 90 per cent of graduates were found to have stayed with their employer throughout the programme, whilst 8 per cent leave a year after the course has ended.

Around 45 per cent of employers have had graduates leave the company because they want a career change. Over 90 per cent had graduates leave to work with a competitor on a higher salary, despite graduates on the programme earning a median of £8,000 more than those in full-time work after three years.


AGR Chief Executive, Stephen Isherwood, commented on the research, stating that the findings “add weight to the anecdotal claim that candidates with work experience add more value to employers in the long run.”

He added that employers now need to take a more “rigorous and longer-term approach” to help young talent to develop as a result of findings showing that many graduates choose to leave a company because their career expectations were not met. 

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