As this year's graduates head for the job market, questions will be asked, as they have been every summer since the recent expansion. What do graduates do? And are we producing too many, just to see them bored and frustrated?
The traditional job on the graduate recruitment scheme of a blue-chip company is the destination of only a small minority. The pronouncements of those who represent recruiters in those companies, the Association of Graduate Recruiters, can therefore, if taken to apply to all graduates' prospects, be misleading. While it is good news all round if the AGR reports an upturn in demand for graduates, most cannot expect the type of starting salaries the AGR quotes. Many will be settling for jobs not once thought of as graduate jobs at salaries which, by comparison, feel disappointing.
Disappointment is misplaced. As graduates are taken into small organisations which never employed them before they can, and do, transform those organisations' performance. If their employers are half-way awake they will begin to respond to suggestions put forward by their graduate recruits. This trend should be welcomed as a way of improving economic performance across the board.