Graduates face worst job market ‘in two decades’

Author: By Richard Garner

A survey of the 100 top graduate recruiters in the country reveals they have reduced the number of jobs they planned to offer last September by more than a quarter. Worst hit is the banking sector, which has seen a 56 per cent fall. The only growth area is the armed forces with recruitment increasing by 10 per cent this year.

The survey, by High Fliers Research, shows the firms had planned to offer 20,000 graduate jobs between them last September ? but 5,500 of those have been cut or left unfilled. In total, Britain’s top employers have recruited 14,370 graduates to start work later this year ? whereas their original target was 19,951. The final figure compares to 16,614 hired in 2008.

The report concludes: “Graduate vacancies have been cut substantially during the 2009 recruitment season and 13.5 per cent fewer graduates will start work with the UK’s leading companies this year than in 2008. This means vacancies for graduates have now been cut by over a fifth since 2007.”

David Lammy, minister for Higher Education, said: “These are tough times, but a degree is a strong investment.”

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