Graduates without work experience face struggle to secure jobs, report says (UK)

More than one-third of graduate vacancies available in 2012 expected to be taken by people who have already worked for firm while studying Graduates without work experience stand little chance of securing a job this year despite a rise in vacancies, research suggests.
More than one-third of the graduate vacancies available are expected to be taken by people who have already worked for a firm while they were studying, a report by High Fliers Research has found. The research, which looked at the 2012 graduate job market, found that the employers expected to hire 6.4% more university leavers this summer than they did last year.

Nearly half of the firms questioned said they expected to recruit more graduates this summer, with a further quarter aiming to take on the same number as in 2011. But a total of 36% of vacancies on offer are likely to be filled by applicants who worked for the company concerned while they were at university. That means many of those without work experience are likely to be left out in the cold, the report says. More than half of recruiters say graduates who have no previous work experience are unlikely to make it through their selection process and have little or no chance of securing a job offer for their graduate programme. Despite the increase in job openings, competition is still likely to be tough this year.

The report – based on a survey of leading graduate employers – found that, on average, companies have received 19% more applications during the early part of this year’s recruitment season than last year. Those leaving university this summer are competing with previous graduates – one-third of applications this year have been from people who finished their degree in 2011 or earlier, the report concludes.
It also warns that, although there is an increase in graduate vacancies, job openings at leading firms remain below pre-recession levels, with recruitment this year 6% below that recorded in 2007.

At the same time, an extra 50,000 new graduates will leave university this summer compared with five years ago. Martin Birchall, the managing director of High Fliers Research, said the rise in graduate vacancies was welcome news. However, he added: “Today’s report includes the stark warning to the class of 2012 that, in a highly competitive graduate job market, new graduates who have not had any work experience at all during their time at university have little hope of landing a well-paid job with a leading employer, irrespective of the academic results they achieve or the university they’ve attended.”

Source: Guardian