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Two-fold increase in the number of graduates in low skilled jobs

Published: Friday, 29 June 2012   Category: All Graduate Jobs News | All Graduate job news

Degree holders are struggling to get jobs for graduates that match their skills, with the number of those in basic jobs doubling over the last five years.

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that the number of graduates trapped in jobs such as cleaning or bar work has doubled to 10,000.

Additional figures show that 20,000 graduates were still out of work six months after completing their courses. However, overall the data shows that 71% of 2011 graduates secured a role within six months, while 16% went onto further study.

The number of graduates working in jobs such as labourer, courier, office junior, hospital porter, waiter/waitress, bar worker, cleaner or road sweeper, has increased from 3% to 5% over the last five years.

Graduates are also increasingly being employed in sales and customer-service roles, such as sales assistant, market trader or call-centre staff. Five years ago this figure was 12,740 and has now climbed up to 20,675 (10%). This is also 1,000 higher than figures recorded a year ago.

Although there are a number of graduates in low-skilled jobs the largest group (23% or over 47,000) were employed in "associate professional and technical jobs", such as nurses, paramedics, interpreters or laboratory technicians.

Commenting on the figures, the general secretary of the University and College Union, Sally Hunt, said: "Today's figures are further bad news for students.

"People working hard at university face an incredibly challenging jobs market when they graduate and the government should be doing more to stimulate jobs and growth."

Trends in graduate employment

The research also highlighted that more than half of graduates (58%) would work for a salary of £20,000 or less while 71% would apply for a range of graduate jobs.

This strategy was supported by Anne-Marie Martin, president of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services: "Be flexible. Have a plan B. There are fantastic opportunities with smaller companies but they don't have the huge marketing budgets of the big employers, and so you need to be creative about your job search."

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