Graduate jobs up nine percent

Coalition ministers will be glad to see that predictions last year of a continuing fall in graduate jobs seems to have been wide of the mark, with the latest survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters showing an 8.9% increase in graduate jobs, with a forecast of further improvement in 2011.

Average new graduate salaries remain rooted at £25,000  and there’s clearly some way to go before the graduate jobs market fully recovers (though £25 is a figure the typical parliamentary researcher can only gaze at longingly).

As the job prospects for graduates improve, Lib Dem ministers will be keen to promote some of the positive aspects of the tuition fees reforms that have been largely lost in the debate so far, such as poorer students getting more help to go through university, all graduates paying back less each year (and so having over £500 more in their pockets each year in the early years), the lowest paid 25% of graduates paying back less overall under the new system than the old and – for the first time – support for the 40% of students who study full time.

Ministers will be hoping that the combination of a stronger jobs market and a better deal for poorer students, and less well paid graduates, encourages a wider range of students to take up university courses.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

16 Comments

  • Meanwhile in the real world the director-general of the CBI has accused the coalition of putting politics before the economy.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ministers-put-politics-before-growth-says-cbi-2193408.html

  • Chris Riley 25th Jan '11 - 9:27am

    Ian,

    Nobody credible was predicting a fall in graduate recruitment this year. Graduate unemployment was expected to have peaked with the 2008/9 cohort, as that was the point in previous recessions that unemployment peaked and because the news from the ground throughout 2010 was that things were looking up – slightly.

    The AGR survey is an excellent survey conducted by a very, very good team at the CFE. However, it represents a selection of large, disproportionately London-based and almost solely private sector employers. It probably represents 10% – the top 10% as well – of paid graduate employment. This means firstly that it greatly overstates the average starting salary that graduates really get – which is expected, when the figures for 2010 come out, to remain stubbornly below 20k. The AGR is a great survey if you expect to get a job at a large, high-profile blue-chip employer. This is not the experience of most graduates.

    Another thing that the AGR doesn’t have much to tell us about, and which is actually the key concern of people looking at graduate employment, is the effect of public sector job losses. The public sector workforce is disproportionately graduate, and it is disproportionately employed outside London. About 40% of new employed graduates start work in the sector. Whilst many are doctors, nurses and teachers and so are unlikely to be affected by the cuts envisaged, a lot go to work in jobs that are extremely vulnerable. The next three years are going to be very interesting in terms of graduate employment. I am not so sure you will be so bullish in 2011.

    The final thing that the AGR cannot tell us about graduate outcomes is about those going onto postgraduate study. It is realised within HE (and BIS) that the rise in UG fees will, de facto, lead to a rise in PG fees as well, pushing many people out of courses. It is not clear what effect this will have on PhDs (some of the scenarios are alarming to say the least), but there is a tacit acknowledgement that some students may be priced out of Masters degrees and will have to try to enter the labour market. It remains to be seen what effect this will have.

    In brief, Ian, this news from the AGR is welcome, it was wholly expected and it in no way serves as vindication of Government policy, which has a number of very severe tests yet to come.

  • 1) The Coalition’s plans rest on an assumption of graduate earnings increasing by 4.7% per year. That salaries remain, ‘rooted,’ is a significant problem.

    2) It is in no way clear that poor students will get help, and that is before we get to questions about debt aversion. And, for that matter, the arguments about generational equality.

    3) I have still not had anyone explain to me why it is that university graduates should pay more from already taxed income. Is there some reason that income tax is not a suitable vehicle?

    4) The HEPI analysis (http://www.hepi.ac.uk/files/50%20Government%20HE%20funding%20proposals%20summary.pdf) at para 55 calls the Coalitions proposals, ‘smoke and mirrors,’ to the extent that this is about getting HE spending off balance sheet. They are right.

    5) Should the penultimate word of the penultimate paragraph be ‘part?’

  • toryboysnevergrowup 25th Jan '11 - 9:55am

    But the economy is now shrinking – the LibDems fought the election on the basis that the plan for deficit reduction should be flexible according to changes in the overall condition of the economy. There is no electoral mandate for sticking to the deficit reduction plan regardless. If Cable really is a Keynesian now is the time for him to prove it.

  • What is critical is that the coalition is judged on the evidence of their actions and not on conjecture.

  • Scarlet Standard 25th Jan '11 - 10:32am

    I wonder if there are any other interesting economic figures out today that Lib Dem Voice might like to show an opinion on?

  • Ed The Snapper 25th Jan '11 - 10:43am

    These graduate employment studies always strike me as essentially fictional. I am one of the graduates who entered the job market in the post-Thatcher recession of the early 1990s. Most of my contemporaries have never gained one of these legendary “graduate jobs”. Today, most of the graduates that I meet are working in jobs that can in no way be defined as “graduate jobs”. I suspect these surveys look at well-paid eltitist graduate jobs in big private sector companies and then try to portray this as a picture of the employment prospects for all graduates. It is a distorted picture. I heard a statsitic that 69 grads apply for each of these graduate jobs. So what jobs are the unsuccessful 68 applicants doing. The answer: suffering unemployment and underemployment. The answer to the problem of underemployment and unemployment of young people is for lifelong education to be established as a fundamental human right that is funded from progressive taxation.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 25th Jan '11 - 11:10am

    Scarlet Standard

    They are waiting to get the line from Osborne – I daresay that they will blame it all on the weather and ignore the fact that the French had weather too and still managed to grow their economy by 0.6% in Q4.

  • While UKIP now poll higher amongst younger people than the Lib Dems – 8% to 7%…
    How to trash on of your key constituencies. The tuition fee debacle for the Libs will be akin to the Iraq issue for Labour

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/YG-Archives-Pol-ST-results-21-230111.pdf

  • @Duncan
    1) The Coalition’s plans rest on an assumption of graduate earnings increasing by 4.7% per year. That salaries remain, ‘rooted,’ is a significant problem.
    Salaries remaining ‘rooted’ will definitely increase the Government’s expenditure. I don’t see why that should be a cause for complaint!

    We are, after all, in the midst of an economic slump. So the fact that the graduate jobs are not being affected is a welcome development.

    2) It is in no way clear that poor students will get help, and that is before we get to questions about debt aversion. And, for that matter, the arguments about generational equality.

    It seems increasingly like that most Universities will set their tuition fees at the 9,000 pound fee level. (Some readers will note that I am retracting my earlier predictions that this won’t happen.) According to the legislation, the Universities that charge above the minimum cap should spend a significant amount of the excess fee in subsidising the poorer students. So, we should expect to see a significant number of scholarship schemes that didn’t exist before.

    3) I have still not had anyone explain to me why it is that university graduates should pay more from already taxed income. Is there some reason that income tax is not a suitable vehicle?

    The graduate repayments are taken on the before-tax income. So, there is no double taxation involved. Noting that the 2.9 bn pounds removed from the Higher Education budget will not be charged to the exchequer, the graduates – old and new – will not be paying normal taxes to cover that amount. Their normal taxes will go to cover the remaining Government expenditure – school education, health care etc, as well as subsidy for the low-earning graduates. So, it is fallacy to assume that they are paying twice.

    Whether income tax is a suitable vehicle for funding HE is a political question. Personally, I would have preferred a mix of public and private funding for HE. The Government projections are that an expenditure of 1.1 bn per year will be needed to subsidise the graduate repayments. You yourself have noted that it is likely to be higher. So, some portion of the ‘income tax’ will still be going to higher education.

    4) The HEPI analysis (http://www.hepi.ac.uk/files/50%20Government%20HE%20funding%20proposals%20summary.pdf) at para 55 calls the Coalitions proposals, ‘smoke and mirrors,’ to the extent that this is about getting HE spending off balance sheet. They are right.

    It is not ‘smoke and mirrors’ that the higher-earning graduates will be contributing more of the costs of their higher education than at present. The HEPI analysis is wanting on this point. HEPI argues that the Government may not save any money in the end. So what? Why should you and I object to that?

    5) Should the penultimate word of the penultimate paragraph be ‘part?’

    Yes, it seems so.

  • @ Blindfaith

    “The tuition fee debacle for the Libs will be akin to the Iraq issue for Labour”.

    The difference being that Labour’s decisions resulted in hundreds of thousands of people losing their lives and tens of billions of pounds down the drain, plus our national security being threatened for decades. And still its popularity has recovered.

    If we Lib Dems can wash our hands of it like Labour has done of getting us into wars and wrecking our economy, then we will have no trouble at all. Voters appear to have shorter memories than you credit them with.

  • The worrying thing the survey found is that merchant banking starting salaries are £42,000 against an average of £25,000.

    Companies making real things and exporting have no chance in competing for the best and brightest of our graduates when people doing financial engineering (i.e. destabilising, wrecking and selling off the productive economy) can offer them so much.

    We need to start offering big scholarships to the brightest young graduates to stop them going into merchant banking and steer them into useful industries. Only then will we have any chance of reindustrialising the UK.

  • @Robert C. Keep washing. I’m unsure how you get these ‘left-of-centre’ disillusioned voters back with your current love-in with the Tories. The opinion polls suggest that by the time they “forget”, your party will be decimated.

  • Uday Reddy – Thank you for your reply, I will not prolong this and will leave the last word to you if you wish.

    1) I take it from that that you think that this package is not about deficit reduction as we are supposed to believe and that there is another agenda? More of that in a moment.

    2) Scholarship schemes are fine as far as they go, but I am unconvinced about how effective they will be. Suffice to say that I hope you are correct and that my reservations are entirely misplaced.

    3) This is the rub, and I agree this is absolutely political. It’s just that I see in this package a toxic argument – Browne could be applied to any area of spending. This is the pay-and-go society in action. Why not apply this argument to, say, rural post offices. Those communities that want one can go to the Big Society Bank, take out a loan (at RPI+3%) and repay. This is not to my mind about deficit reduction, this is an ideological move to a pay-and-go society. What about we abolish totally housing benefit and just give RPI+3% loans? I agree with you – this is absolutely political and it is a politics I simply can not agree with, but I respect your take on this.

    4) Under income tax, those who benefit more pay more. I assume HEPI regard this as self-evident. I objected to PFI as an exercise in balance sheet manipulation and I object to this for much the same reason.

    5) I thought so.

  • Robert C,

    The analogy between Iraq and tuition fees makes good sense. Labour have to a fair extent recovered from Iraq, having eventually pulled out the troops and put in a new leader who has admitted it was wrong. All we have to do to recover from the tuition fees debacle, therefore, is to take the analogous series of measures!

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTonyH 20th Nov - 2:07am
    Mark - thank you for posting these daily press releases. It's really good to be able to keep track of what the party is saying...
  • User AvatarRossMcL 20th Nov - 12:18am
    I agree that Jo did well here. She is at her best in these kind of face-to-face situations, I think. It will be interesting to...
  • User Avatarnigel hunter 20th Nov - 12:16am
    Same old same old of a failed Tory policy. It is not Democracy when only one viewpoint is discussed. Fact Check UK reminds me of...
  • User AvatarJohn Barrett 19th Nov - 11:53pm
    Jo was lucky not to be in the earlier debate with the 2 so called "main party" leaders. She did very well in a much...
  • User Avatarnigel hunter 19th Nov - 11:35pm
    Neither of the 2 main parties are worth a penny.Equally some of the questions asked were pathetic when we have the most monumental period in...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill. 19th Nov - 11:29pm
    Jo Swinson was asked about the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson resigning. Boris Johnson has purged the Conservative Parliamentary Party of Remainers and...