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Long-term perspective vital as survey reveals lack of student confidence in employability prospects

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Employers and students advised to take long-term perspective as a poll by Graduate Prospects reveals that 80% of students feel unconfident or unsure of their employability prospects this summer. 

CEO of Graduate Prospects, Mike Hill, said: “These figures make sobering reading and show that even though some key sectors and employers continue to seek graduate talent, the message isn’t getting through to students. We all need to think long-term and this isn’t the time to devalue a degree. 

“It has never been more important for HR managers to think twice when financial pressure is forcing a review of graduate recruitment and we would hope that they have learnt the lessons of the recent downturns of 1998 and 2002-3. A recession is a good time to recruit graduates, to ensure you’re in a position to take advantage of the upturn when it happens. If we don’t keep the pipeline open there will be a fight for talent and even bigger issues post-recession.  

“We anticipate a reduction in the amount of money spent on graduate recruitment over the next couple of years, but currently many businesses are continuing to spend on branding and trying to maintain their graduate recruitment programmes – even if they’re only running at a percentage of last year’s. They’re already getting many more applicants, and of higher quality too.

“When we emerge from this recession we will need all the talent we can muster. The need for a skilled workforce will only increase as trends suggest that over the next decade there will be an increase in the number of jobs needing higher levels of skills and a decrease in lower-skilled work as more jobs will be digitalised. What’s more, we are at the point of massive demographic change: the baby-boomer generation are beginning to retire and trends predict that there will be significantly less people to take their place.

“We should be reassuring students that graduate jobs continue to be out there, particularly in the public and technology sectors. It is more competitive, but having a portfolio packed with experience and qualifications will help graduates land those prized positions. It continues to be a fact that long-term a degree will make you more employable. The 2008 Labour Force Survey demonstrates this with only 3% of graduates under 30 experiencing unemployment, compared to 8% of non-graduates in the same age group.”








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