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Graduate vacancies drop for first time in four years, reports AGR

After four years of significant growth, the graduate jobs market has shrunk with the number of vacancies dropping 8% year-on-year.


According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) Annual Survey1 there were 19,732 positions to fill for 2016 compared to 21,427 last year. Vacancies in construction, retail and engineering have decreased the most.


The latest figures follow four years of sustained growth in the graduate recruitment market. Last year the number of graduate jobs had increased by 13% year-on-year.


For some employers the decline in graduate vacancies has been mitigated by an increase in apprenticeships, but not enough to make up for the shortfall, says the AGR.


Among graduate employers, the number of apprenticeships has increased by 13% this year with a total of 10,095 opportunities available.


The Apprenticeship Levy is having an affect, the AGR says. More than one in ten employers said they were repackaging some graduate roles as higher apprenticeships due to the Levy.  


Overall the combined number of vacancies for graduate jobs and apprenticeships has decreased 3% year-on-year.


Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the AGR, said, “The labour market for young people is shrinking for the first time since the financial crisis, but the composition of the market is also changing as employers invest more in school leaver programmes and apprenticeships.


“The uncertainty of Brexit is the single biggest challenge facing recruiters in the year ahead. Competition for skills and the looming Apprenticeship Levy are also significant concerns. 


“While there remain thousands of vacancies available for university graduates, school leavers will find many more different options open to them for high quality jobs.”


This graduate vacancy information is from the AGR Annual Survey, which launches on 29 September 2016 and provides an extensive insight into the state of the graduate and school leaver jobs market.


Image courtesy of Freepik

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