Confidence in graduate job market hits a 15 year low

source – eduinreview

For one recent graduate it all gets a bit too overwhelming.

It’s grim up North; or so the saying goes. Well now it seems that it’s grim up North, down South and anywhere else in-between, according to a recent survey of final year students at 30 of the UK’s top universities. The study, carried out by High Fliers, concluded that 45% of university leavers believed that their prospects upon finishing were ‘very limited’. Considering that the recent recession is officially over, the aftermath of the banking crisis seems to be playing heavily on the minds of graduates.

Possibly the most disturbing of all of the findings is that one in six wouldn’t have gone to university at all if they’d known about how tough it would be to find work upon finishing. Many are scared that jobs available will be snapped up by 2009 graduates, however speaking as an ’09 grad myself I am vigilant of the reverse coming into effect. Martin Birchill, Managing Director of High Fliers commented, “Our latest survey shows that final year students due to leave UK universities this summer are just as pessimistic about their employment prospects as those who graduated twelve months ago… with a record number of students due to complete degrees in the coming weeks and tens of thousands of last year’s graduates still looking for work, there is widespread concern on campus that competition for graduate jobs has never been fiercer.”

These figures paint a stark profile of graduate unemployment but yet again the Government have failed to differentiate between youth unemployment as a whole and the plight of those in higher education. In a repost to the survey’s findings, Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts said, “The jobs market continues to be very tough for young people, who were among the biggest losers during the recession. There continues to be enormous value in higher education and that is why we also are committed to offering an extra 10,000 university places this year.” As we have continued to say time and time again, herding more young people into university will only make the problem of the saturation of the graduate job market even worse; how long will it be until the government realise this?

Although in reality this survey is only a snapshot of graduate opinions, a fifth of final year students were interviewed and the assumptions that can be drawn are worrying to say the least. Following the announcement of dramatic spending cuts in Whitehall, the post-recession bubble seems to have been well and truly burst. With dark times ahead, the next few years for graduates are forecast to be a bleak period.