This week the Office for National Statistics released its report on graduate employment.
It makes sobering reading – especially in the light of claims about economic recovery – and of the escalating fees – 9000 p.a. – which now stand among the highest levels in the developed world.
Although graduates still fare better than those without qualifications, the figures show that recent graduates are doing much worse than their predecessors.
‘The percentage of graduates working in non-graduate roles has risen.’
A degree still makes you more employable – 87% of graduates are employed, compared with 83% of those with only A level qualifications, and 76% of those with grade A to C GCSE.
But these figures apply to the population as a whole – and thus include all older graduates now well entrenched in their careers.
It’s the recent figures which give cause for concern.
One of the most sobering findings was that recent graduates have higher unemployment rates than older graduates and older non-graduates. This is a long term situation. But the gap has been opening up since 2008/9.
Plus the percentage of graduates in non-graduate roles has risen since 2009/10 – that now stands at a whopping 47% for recent graduates.
The jobs recovery, such as it is, is not extending equally to graduates, according to Andrew Hunter, co-founder of jobs website Adzuna.
“In the face of fierce competition, many grads are being forced to take on lower-skilled jobs,” he said. There were, he added, more than 50 graduates competing for every degree-level job in September.
As Alex Sobel says ‘This is a terrible waste of talent. When you add in the fact of unpaid internships which are becoming a route into good graduate jobs, there are real generational injustices and social inequalities developing here.’