This summer it is estimated that 420,000 new graduates will be job hunting. These new job seekers will be competing with thousands of unemployed experienced workers left unemployed by the economic crisis. Where two years ago there were approximately an average of 31 candidates per job, now in 2010 there are 69 people courting every available opening.
Some employers, who have a definite strong pool of applicants per job opening, have put a ban on employing anyone without a 2:1 degree. Eight out of every 10, or 78 per cent have reported banning the hiring of applicants with out a higher degree. That is a jump from the 66 per cent reporting the same policy last year. In addition some employers are restricting their hiring to only specific universities.
The available job openings will lower with the spending cuts due to hit the public sector. Aaron Porter, President of the National Union of Students, stated his concern: “Graduates are leaving our universities with world class skills and knowledge and have the ambition to make contributions in the UK. We are concerned that the savage cuts to the public sector will create further unemployment and will make the lives of graduates tougher in already difficult jobs market.”
The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) released research results showing that not only are there more graduates entering the market but last year 40,000 failed to find jobs and they will be adding to the already unemployed numbers searching for employment. A delay in employment also hinders the graduates ability to pay off debt incurred while studying.
David Willetts, the Higher Education Minister, said: “The job market remains challenging for new graduates as it does for others. But a degree is still a good investment in the long term and graduates have a key role to play in helping Britain out of the recession.”