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Signs student jobs market is 'stagnating' UK survey

Chris Ison/PA Wire

By Alison Kershaw
There are signs that the UK entry-level jobs market may be "stagnating", it has been suggested.

UK employers have slowed down graduate recruitment this year, with only the charity and public sectors planning to substantially increase vacancies for university leavers, according to a report by the UK Institute of Student Employers (ISE).

Its Pulse Survey 2020, based on responses from 197 found that employers are planning a 3% increase in graduate recruitment this year, compared to the 10% increase reported last year.

The report also notes that employers are reporting that they are increasing vacancies for apprenticeships and school-leaver programmes by 2%.

Last year, employers reported a 7% increase.

It concludes: "The field of student recruitment is fairly stable this year, although there are some signs that it may be stagnating.

"Both graduate and non-graduate entry-level recruitment look to be up on last year, but if firms fail to meet their recruitment targets, this could easily slip into a slight decline in hiring."

The report says that a 14% increase in graduate vacancies in the charity and public sectors are preventing the graduate job market from shrinking.

"While the built environment and energy, engineering and industry sectors have both experienced downturns in graduate numbers, the charity and public sector is driving the overall increase in graduate numbers in line with recent announcements about renewed investment in public services contained in the Queen's Speech," it says.

"If we removed the charity and public sector from the figures, the graduate market would be stagnant this year."

Stephen Isherwood, ISE chief executive said: "The graduate jobs market is an early indicator of the health of the economy as employers tend to plan further ahead when deciding their graduate recruitment needs.

"What we're seeing now is particularly concerning as employers are normally over optimistic at this time of the year.

"As we move through the recruitment season they typically recruit less than they had anticipated."

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