Uncertain future ahead for many British graduates

Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:49am EST
 
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Many British graduates are facing a bleak future as employers cut down on their intake of university leavers because of the economic downturn, according to research published on Wednesday.

The Graduate Market in 2009, a study based on graduate vacancies and starting salaries at 100 top employers, found that the intake this year was to be reduced by 17 percent as posts were either cut or left unfilled.

"These swinging cuts in graduate recruitment at Britain's best-known and most sought-after employers are very bad news for anyone leaving university this summer," said Martin Birchall, Managing Director of the report's authors, High Fliers Research.

"There is understandable panic on campus that this is shaping up to be one of the worst years of the last two decades to be graduating from university."

The study reported that during two recruitment rounds in 2008 and 2009, employers had planned to take on 40,000 graduates. However, 7,000 of these had now been axed.

To make matters worse, the report said, employers had reduced the number of graduate jobs they had planned to offer in 2008, hiring about 18 percent less than was originally planned.

Investment banking, retailing, accountancy and professional services, and the engineering and industrial sectors have been the hardest hit.

Only the public sector and the armed forces have provided an increase in the number of graduate vacancies.   Continued...