Graduate jobs market improving but skills shortage remains

‘Buoyant market’ leads to unfilled posts

June 18, 2015

Around two-thirds of companies have unfilled graduate vacancies, with nearly a third claiming that candidates lack specific skills, a poll has found.

According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters, employers with vacancies have an average of 45 unfilled posts for 2015, with two-thirds of companies reporting at least one available graduate role.

Some 58 per cent of the 72 employers polled by the Association of Graduate Recruiters reported an increase in graduate hiring targets this year, suggesting a strong job market and going some way to explaining the number of unfilled posts.

Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the AGR, said: “The job market for graduates is buoyant…but students shouldn’t be complacent.”

He told Times Higher Education that half of employers said some graduate job candidates were “not thinking through their applications”. “For example, candidates aren’t really demonstrating why they’re applying to that particular role,” he said.

Most of the vacancies reported were in accountancy (27 per cent), followed by IT (26 per cent) and electrical/electronic engineering (20 per cent).

The findings, which were published at the same time as Office for National Statistics figures show a fall in unemployment of 43,000, paint an encouraging picture. But employers have also criticised complex work permit rules, claiming that they make it difficult to hire international students who have studied in the UK.

“Employers that are recruiting international students are finding that it’s much harder,” Mr Isherwood said. “We’re aware it is a contentious subject, but some of the language around visas harms universities. The reality is that it’s causing problems for employers.”

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride