28% of students who finished their degree or postgraduate studies in 2007 are still unable to secure full time work. This data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency demonstrates the restrictions the recession has placed on graduates’ ability to secure full time employment.
Graduates from Million Plus affiliated universities (which represent new institutions) were twice as likely to find themselves in this position.
HESA collected data from 46,065 UK and 3,000 European students who graduated in 2007.
- 72.3% were in full-time paid employment compared to 76.1% in 2005, when the survey was previously carried out.
- 3.5% of students were unemployed compared to 2.6% in 2005.
- Over 5% of students graduating from new universities were unemployed after three and a half years; less than half of graduates from Russell Group Institutions found themselves in the same position.
- Remaining graduates were either in part-time work, volunteering or further university study.
- There was a 1% rise in those returning to study on the previous two years showing that many graduates choose to return to education in the hope of improving their employability and returning to the job market at a later time.
Despite a rise in the number of graduates returning to education, the figures do not reflect this in a positive light in terms of employment, in fact quite the opposite. The job market is extremely competitive and even completing further qualifications is not giving applicants the upper hand.
‘It’s really frustrating, I’m applying for any basic retail/admin/bar job at the minute to save up and move out. I’ve also applied for an internship which I’m really hoping I’ll get.’
‘I am! It’s really frustrating and depressing, I don’t do that much other than apply for jobs in the week then give myself the weekend off.’
Another graduate offers some useful advice
‘The main thing I would say is make sure you’re doing something to get some experience while you’re waiting. If it’s relevant, great, but anything will help. Just so you can say you’ve been doing something with your time off (besides all the job hunting obviously!)’
Unemployment means that many graduates are forced to support themselves with overdrafts and high interest loans which can become a dangerous cycle. Many gifted graduates could be lost in certain areas of employment due to a lack of jobs.