UK Graduate Job Market Set For 2014 Boom
The job market is looking better than ever for UK graduates. We discuss what this means for graduates and how they can better prepare to enter the professional market …
Ever since the financial crisis struck in 2008, graduate employment in the United Kingdom has presented a significant challenge. But things seem to be looking up now. This morning, The Independent reported that graduate job prospects are set to be at their best since 2007. The article also stated that statistics show an 8.7% rise in the number of graduate vacancies.
Significant growth in graduate job market
The biggest contributor to this increase in graduate recruitments has been the public sector. The success of the Teach First scheme is evident as well as it has become the largest recruiter of British graduate this year, with 1,550 places. The research, published by High Fliers, has noted that over 18,000 graduate vacancies will be available in 2014 via the top 100 graduate recruiters in the UK. This is up almost 10%from the figures for 2013.
These findings are significant. The Guardian notes that ‘graduate opportunities took a hammering in the early years of the crisis, dropping by 6.7% in 2008 and by 17.8% in 2009.’ Graduate recruitments rose by just 2.5% last year. This year’s almost 10 per cent jump means that 2014 will be the strongest UK graduate job market since the financial crisis.
The challenge for graduates
Not only are the figures rising for full-time positions, but also for internships. A record number of paid internships will be on offer to UK graduates in 2014. But there is a significant detail to underline here. BBC says that 37% of this year’s entry-level positions are set to be taken by people who have already worked with the organisations in some capacity.
What does this mean for graduates? Quite simply put, for those who have no prior experience at the top 100 recruiters, the challenge is in competitiveness. Around 63% of UK graduates, those without prior experience in the top 100 companies, will compete for some highly coveted positions. And what will mark them as strong contenders for these positions will be their professional preparedness.
The onus is on educational institutions
To aid their graduates reap the rewards of a booming graduate job market, the onus is on British educational institutions to prepare them. More than ever before, there is a need for educational programmes and courses to be structured to help prepare students for the job market.
It is important for students to be trained to enter the job market as it will continue to be highly competitive as it continues to recover from a prolonged lull. One way to achieve this is by emphasising on the practical elements within education along with the theoretical aspects. Exposure to industry-relevant curriculum combined with learning from faculties that possess industry experience would provide students with a strong foundation whilst entering the job market.
All said and done, the future looks bright for graduates from British institutions. Numbers never lie. There has never been a better point to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate education in Britain.
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