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UK graduates slam SMEs on pay and career progression

UK graduates slam SMEs on pay and career progression

But research shows three quarters of grads rate SMEs above corporate on work ethic, job satisfaction and creativity

91% of UK graduates think corporations pay better, 79% think they offer better job security and 74% believe they offer better career progression than SMEs, according to a survey of 200 UK graduates, commissioned by specialist SME graduate recruiter, Give A Grad A Go.

However, graduates felt SMEs excelled in terms of work ethic (75%) and job satisfaction (82%), while a massive 92% of all those surveyed felt that SMEs encouraged more creativity in the workplace. Smaller businesses also scored higher (62%) than corporates on work-life balance.

Cary Curtis, Give A Grad A Go founder and MD comments: SMEs make up the backbone of British industry and will need to take advantage of the abundance of highly skilled graduates leaving university looking for work. Graduates that approach us are often unaware of the fantastic career opportunities that exist in SME organisations and certainly have no idea how to take advantage of them. The result is that smaller employers tend to struggle to source the best grads. We find those we place, excel in smaller companies, quickly progressing their careers as a consequence.

The results also revealed that 54% of graduates thought public sector pay was either low or very low, contrasting recent findings from centre-right think tank, Policy Exchange, which revealed public sector workers earning over 30% more than their private sector equivalents.

Curtis concludes: GAGAGO encourages all SMEs to treat graduates on work placements as real employees and offer a wage with any position. The highest tuition fees on record mean many graduates cant afford to work for free, and those that do are often demotivated due a lack of remuneration. Paid placements offer an affordable way to secure talented candidates and get the most out of them.

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