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A report into graduate recruitment suggests skill shortages


Research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has found nearly a third of companies did not meet their recruitment targets last year due to poor skill levels among graduates. The report, compiled from a survey of 214 major employers, found 32 per cent of businesses failing to recruitment predicted levels of graduates an increase of almost a quarter in the past year.

Reasons offered for this problem include applicants just not being good enough, rushed applications and consequent mistakes. Organisations also stated they did not have the time or resources necessary to train students in the key skills required. Most concern seems to rest around the engineering, transport and logistics sectors.

The AGR also believe vacancies for graduates will fall by 1.2 per cent next year due to continuing concerns about the economy. However chief executive of the AGR, Carl Gilleard believes the fall will not be significant given the past two years of rising vacancies: “With the job market intrinsically linked to business confidence, I am cautiously optimistic for graduate recruitment in 2012 and it is encouraging to see that only a slight drop is predicted,” he said.


Employers do value graduates that have work experience and those students that have undertaken a year in industry as part of a four-year degree,” add Mr Gilleard. “Consequently, there are genuine concerns surrounding students undertaking two year degrees as they do not have as much time to gain workplace experience.”

The average starting salary for graduates has remained at £25,000 – the third year it has been at this level. However pay is expected to rise by four per cent next year.

The survey included employers such as BAE Systems, Barclays, BP, Deloitte, IBM, McDonalds, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Tesco and Unilever. In total these companies  offered 21,325 vacancies during the 2010/11 recruitment year – up by 1.7 per cent compared with 12 months earlier.


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