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UK – Graduate jobs market grows 10% in 2019, but internships and work placements fall

10 September 2019

The UK’s graduate labour market saw an increase of 10% more jobs than the previous year according to the Institute of Student Employers’ annual student recruitment survey.

Nearly 22,000 graduate jobs were created. This was mainly driven by significant increases in finance and professional services as well as public sector employers who recruited 35% more graduates, particularly in policing and education.

Since the 2008 recession graduate jobs have grown 10% or above on just two other occasions - in 2013 and 2014. 

While this suggests a buoyant market, employers are cautious. According to the survey, the short-term and temporary hire of graduates through internships or work placements has dropped by 4% and 7% respectively. Employers also anticipate that Brexit and/or a recession will reduce hiring over the next five years.

Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of ISE, commented, “Although the drop in temporary opportunities is concerning as this enables students to gain valuable work experience, employers are mainly resisting the urge to dial down their recruitment in the face of current and future challenges.”

“Hiring is up, employers are receiving a healthy volume of applications and they are paying more. We hope that this continues and will do everything that we can to support firms as they manage the uncertainty that lies ahead,” Isherwood said.

The energy and engineering, and legal industries were the only sectors to make small reductions in the number of graduates they recruited, down 1% and 3% respectively.

ISE’s report also found that employers had challenges recruiting graduates for engineering, IT programming and development, and technical and analytical roles. Actuaries, electronic engineers, prison officers and quantity surveyors were also highlighted as shortage areas.

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