More jobs for UK graduates prompts rise in hiring
Vacancies for graduates in the UK are increasing, figures show, prompting an uptick in hires.
The past few years have been tough for graduates seeking their first roles after university. An increase in the number of people pursuing further study and an economic downturn that put businesses off hiring new staff has kept competition fierce, though it varies from sector to sector.
But figures released on 28 May show that hiring intentions are finally increasing for graduates.
Data published by recruiter Adzuna shows that the number of graduate vacancies is now 37 per cent higher than it was in 2012. That means that 15,732 graduate vacancies have been created this month.
As might be expected, this means competition has fallen – though it is still high, 30 graduates for every vacancy is still lower than the 50 per role recorded last year.
Competition is significantly higher in some of the best-known graduate recruiters, but many have also increased their graduate intakes. CityAM reports that the “big four” accounting firms have either raised the number of graduates they take on or announced their plans to do so.
“The grad market is growing as employer optimism blossoms,” Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter told HR Review. “As competition for jobs continues to fall, employers are beginning to invest more and nurture talent from the bottom up – that can only be a good thing for graduates.”
Many employers are actually still struggling to find the right graduates to fill their vacancies, according to a poll released by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).
In fact, some 87 per cent of employers said they had unfilled vacancies for this year, with the highest numbers of vacancies reported in IT, electrical and electronic engineering and general management roles.
While over half of employers said they had vacancies because they had increased their graduate intake, two-thirds also said that some of the applications they received had simply been of poor quality. For graduates, this demonstrates just how important it is to practice applications and really demonstrate the right key skills and abilities.
AGR chief executive Stephen Isherwood says that often graduates do not take as much time as they need to over their applications, so it is difficult for employers to get a sense of why they meet the demands of the role.
“There are graduate vacancies out there and making fewer, targeted applications rather than taking a scattergun approach to finding a job will pay dividends in the long run,” he said.