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Thursday, 15 February, 2001, 00:05 GMT
Bright future for graduates
graduation ceremony
Job offers and salaries for graduates are on the rise
Demand for graduates in the workplace has risen, with research suggesting that organisations employed 8.8% more graduates in the year 2000 than in 1999.

And up to 25% of those taken on were recruited via the internet, with the figure likely to rise to 50% this year, the study by the Income Data Services revealed.

Graduates leaving university this summer should have little difficulty obtaining a job if companies stick to their current recruitment plans

Income Data Services report
The employers surveyed indicated they intended to take on more graduates over the coming year.

If these intentions were carried through then graduate recruitment would rise by approximately 19.1% in 2001, the IDS claimed.

The fastest growth in recruitment was planned by the manufacturing industry, which was up by one third in 2001.

In contrast, the public sector planned virtually no increase in graduate recruitment.

"Graduates leaving university this summer should have little difficulty obtaining a job if companies stick to their current recruitment plans," the report claimed.

But it was not all praise - about one third of the employers questioned felt graduates lacked certain strengths, most notably business awareness and communication skills.

Starting salaries

The findings - based on returns from 113 employers - also revealed a sharp rise in starting salaries for graduates.

The NUS is aware there are many students who find it difficult to get graduate jobs on completing their degrees

National Union of Students
In 2000, the average starting salary was 18,671, but in 2001 it is expected to reach 19,157.

While employers were putting much emphasis on graduate recruitment, there was no guarantee that they would retain successful candidates, the report said.

In the companies surveyed, only 50% of graduates recruited in 1995 were still with the same employer by the end of the year 2000.

'Half complete'

But the National Union of Students expressed concern at the report findings, saying the quality and the nature of the work offered were important.

Many graduates were seeking jobs on the basis of the highest paid employment, rather than seeking work as a vocation or for job satisfaction, the union said.

NUS president, Owain James, said the IDS report was only "half complete", because it failed to look at the numbers of students who did not get graduate jobs.

"The rise in average graduate salaries and the predicted increase in demand for graduates in employment must be treated with some caution.

"The increase in demand is only in some sections of the workforce such as manufacturing and finance," Mr Owain said.

The NUS was aware of many students who found it difficult to get graduate jobs on completing their degrees, he added.

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08 Dec 00 | Education
Graduates pick and choose jobs
26 Jan 01 | Education
E-applications to universities rise
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