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Employers 'must open up to poor graduates'

Published: Wednesday, 29 July 2009   Category: Diversity Jobs

Businesses should not restrict their vacancies to graduates from the UK's top universities, according to one expert writing for the Times.

Lee Elliot Major, director of research at the Sutton Trust, said that although the government has failed to increase grants to help poor students attend university during the recession, some employers are only taking on graduates from Oxbridge and a select few other institutions.

Despite Alan Milburn's commission to open up social mobility among graduate jobs, the government is limited in its powers to help students from poor backgrounds, according to the writer.

Mr Major added: "If we are not careful that rare, sought-after species, the student from disadvantaged circumstances, may become even more endangered, and, among the academic elite, threatened with extinction."

Former minister Mr Milburn recently claimed in his Access to Professions Panel that graduate jobs are not available to people of all social backgrounds.

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