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The BBC's Jenny Scott
"New graduates are asking for and being offered more"
 real 56k

Friday, 8 December, 2000, 08:45 GMT
Graduates pick and choose jobs
people using computers
Using the net brings multiple advantages, report says
by the BBC's Dharshini David

Students are brimming with confidence over their job prospects.

And their power in the jobs market is now so great that employers are forced to meet their demands - or risk missing out on the best staff.

Survey findings
51% would baulk at having to sit a test
71% expect training in first job
70% expect to start on 10,000-18,000
8% expect to get over 20,000
65% expect 20-25 days holiday
33% would not consider teaching
47% do not want to work for the police, armed forces or prison service
11% favour a dotcom company
20% of females want to work in the media
That is the finding of survey from the Association of Graduate Recruiters sponsored by The Guardian newspaper, in which 2000 final year students were questioned on their attitude to the working world.

With unemployment close to a 20 year low, finding a job is not a problem and the competition between employers to secure the most highly skilled graduates is fierce.

The class of 2000 is so optimistic about its prospects that one in five of those who had received a job offer were sufficiently confident to turn it down.

The most popular reason given was holding out for a better job.

Starting on 18,000

Firms are so eager to attract the best graduates that the average starting salary now tops 18,000, having risen faster than inflation over the last year.

But for some students, even this is not enough.

According to the survey, 7% of students now expects a starting bonus - or a "golden hello" - for signing on the dotted line.

A few expect other sweetners, such as a clothing allowance or subsidised mortgage.

Loyalty

But even these incentives are not enought to ensure employer loyalty.

Forty-five percent of students do not expect to stay in their first job for more than a year or two - a far cry from past concepts of "a job for life".

However, over a half are still looking for a post that offers them a graduate training scheme.

As the hours we work as a nation are grow longer, the Class of 2000 rates the work/life balance highly.

More of those questioned are looking for in excess of 30 days holidays than a car or pension scheme.

A tall order, perhaps. But with a very tight labour market and skill shortages growing, employers may increasingly find that they have no choice but to give in.

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See also:

22 Jul 00 | Education
Employers target students early
30 Jun 00 | Education
Employers netting graduates
24 Jan 00 | Education
Steep fall in graduate recruitment
29 Nov 99 | Education
Going to university pays off
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