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'Graduate labour market holding up' AGCAS survey

More employers are looking for graduates according to university careers and employability professionals. Responding to the regular vacancy survey carried out by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), 87.5% of heads of careers services said that in their experience the graduate labour market was more buoyant (50%) or the same (37.5%) in the quarter ending 31 December 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.

Ups and downs

Respondents reported increases in vacancies in IT, engineering, retail and fast-moving consumer goods, whilst a more mixed picture was seen in the finance and construction sectors. Recruitment activity in the public sector was widely reported to be down.
The AGCAS quarterly report differs from those published by AGR and High Fliers, which survey only recruiters for larger companies' graduate training schemes. Universities carry all types of graduate vacancies for organisations from across the economic spectrum, including smaller companies and the not-for-profit sector.

Advice for graduates and employers

AGCAS Interim Chief Executive, Martin Pennington, said:
"The message to students and graduates is that there are many jobs to be had, even in the current competitive environment. Do your research; develop and learn how to articulate your skills; get work experience; write the best application you possibly can and prepare well for interviews. University careers and employability services can help with all of these.
And don't forget smaller employers. Not only do they offer many more opportunities, but they can provide a new graduate with varied experience and early responsibility."

He added some advice for employers:
"Whatever the size of your organisation, or whatever sector you're in, make sure that AGCAS and university careers services know what your recruitment needs are. Careers services can help you not only by advising and advertising your vacancies but by giving you opportunities to get to know students throughout their time at university. Savvy employers receive lots of applications from people who they know and who know them, which makes it more likely you'll find people who are right for you."

Media contact

Journalists wishing to arrange an interview should contact Chris Jackson (tel: 0191 240 3525).

Tags: vacancy survey LMI graduate labour market survey University employer Sector AGCAS

Created on: 02 February 2012

Last updated: 03 February 2012

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