increase in graduate jobs

Employer survey predicts more than 10% growth in graduate jobs

A survey of employers published this week predicts that the number of graduate vacancies they offer in this recruitment round will increase by 10.3% compared to last year. The research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) is encouraging news for graduate job hunters, with some sectors, including IT and telecoms, energy and banking and financial services, expected to see double digit growth.

The findings are included in the winter edition of the AGR’s biannual survey of its members, which also reveals that the graduate vacancies on offer increased by 4.3% overall in 2013. The AGR’s membership includes many big blue-chip companies that typically recruit large numbers of graduates.

Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the AGR, said, ‘Given the upturn in the economy, and the slight increase in graduate vacancies recorded last year, we’d expect employer predictions to be fairly buoyant for the year ahead; so an expected rise of over 10% is welcome news.

‘What this doesn’t mean, however, is that graduates should be any less focused on their career search. We know that, even through the darkest days of the recession, our members reported unfilled vacancies because they couldn’t find graduates with the right mix of skills and attributes. Graduates need to think carefully about their applications and ensure they understand what a potential employer is looking for.’

Predicted changes in graduate hiring for the 2013/14 graduate recruitment season

The predicted changes in graduate vacancies in different career sectors are as follows:

  • IT/telecommunications 40.3% increase
  • Public sector 20.1% increase
  • Energy, water or utility 17.5% increase
  • Banking or financial services 15.7% increase
  • Accountancy or professional services 12.2% increase
  • Engineering or industrial 9.2% increase
  • Transport or logistics 7.0% increase
  • Consulting or business services 5.7% increase
  • Retail 2.7% increase
  • FMCG 2.0% increase
  • Investment bank or fund managers 1.4% decrease
  • Law 4.2% decrease

Spotlight on school leaver recruitment

The AGR survey also highlighted how increasing numbers of graduate recruiters are running a range of school-leaver recruitment programmes, with 54.7% currently offering opportunities to school leavers.

Stephen Isherwood commented, ‘At the moment, it doesn’t appear that employers are replacing graduate vacancies with school-leaver vacancies; rather businesses are investing in a range of different programmes to attract and recruit a diverse range of young people, from apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships to school-leaver training leading to professional qualifications.’

More advice to help you with your graduate job search