Swings and Roundabouts of Graduate Labour Market

The latest AGCAS* Survey of University Careers Services shows that the overall number of graduate vacancies is holding up well in spite of continuing economic difficulties.

Careers Services reported continuing shortages of well-qualified candidates for IT and engineering positions  and the last quarter showed a noticeable increase in the number of advertising, marketing, sales and purchasing vacancies. Services also mentioned an increase in opportunities for hospitality, retail, leisure and sports managers, graphic designers and many roles in small businesses where flexibility and multiple skills are needed.

Although the continuing decline in public sector vacancies is affecting areas like podiatry, dietetics, education, social work and youth work, and the number of legal traineeships is down, increased activity in other areas has compensated for these losses nationally.

Comment: The University of Cumbria is however heavily dependent on local public sector vacancies for many of its graduates and restricted opportunities in education and social work mean that applicants will often need to widen their initial career aspirations and geographical target area to compete successfully. On the positive side, increased graduate recruitment activity by small businesses can only be good news in a region that has so few large employers.

*Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services