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Unrealistic expectations lead to a third of recent graduates falling back on benefits
Lack of support at university 3 in 5 did not find careers service useful
New graduate advice service launched to provide honest advice
Research undertaken by of 500 undergraduates and recent graduates highlights that unrealistic expectations and a lack of preparation for tough job market conditions is leading to only 6% gaining a graduate role, with a further two thirds having taken a job simply to pay the bills.
Tough market conditions are leading to a third (36%) of recent graduates claiming Jobseekers Allowance in the last year, of which half had claimed for longer than six months. These shocking results come on the back of recent figures from ONS that reveal that nearly 150,000 graduates have removed themselves from the labour market by undertaking further study to delay joining the world of work.
Mike Fetters, Graduate Sales Director at believes that graduate flexibility is the key: Having invested heavily in securing a decent degree, it is not unreasonable for graduates to feel they deserve a job that matches their career expectations. Unfortunately competition for professional roles has never been fiercer, and students that have failed to prepare carefully through extra-curricular activities and early engagement with employers are simply not making the grade.
The contrast between job expectations before and after graduation is stark. The average graduate salary is currently 25,000. For those still at university, a worrying one in ten believe they will earn over 35,000 in their first graduate job. This compares to the six in ten (59%) of those that have already graduated who have salary expectations below 20,000.  Similarly confidence in securing a job within the next six months falls from 70 percent for undergraduates to just over half (56 percent) for those that have already graduated. 
Perhaps due to a lack of appreciation of the challenge ahead of them, only half of those polled appear to have made full use of their University Careers Advisory service. Perhaps because of their failure to secure a role, 60% of those who engaged with the service felt it had failed them. In an attempt to bridge the graduate knowledge gap, has launched a student and graduate online recruitment service for those looking for graduate jobs and advice.
Amelia Leeson, an Oxford graduate from London, says the research chimes with her experience of looking for a job after her finals: Finding work has been much harder than I had anticipated. I wasnt naive enough to believe that I would walk into a job in my preferred field, but for six months I have done temping and a lot of unpaid work experience and Im still struggling to get a job.
However, it seems that graduate jobseekers are willing to be more flexible than ever in both the sector they work in and their willingness to move. Nearly half would work in either public or private sector. 79% said they would move for work, a figure that rose to 86% for those yet to graduate. 44% were willing to move abroad and a third would move anywhere in the UK.


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