Class of 2011: 20,000 struggling to find paid jobs

Many recent graduates are working without pay or have taken on low-paid menial jobs

More than 20,000 of the class of 2011 were still unemployed six months after they graduated from university, it was revealed yesterday. A further 10,720 graduates were forced to snap up menial jobs such as caretaking, cleaning or administrative work in schools, according to figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

There was also a major increase in the number of graduates working for no pay – either volunteering, working for charities or on work experience with employers, as The Independent revealed earlier this week.

In all, 4 per cent of those who said they were in employment (around 6,000 graduates) were in voluntary or unpaid work – a 23 per cent increase on the previous year. This trend was described as "worrying" by Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders. "If it continues it will make it even more difficult for disadvantaged young people to justify staying in education after 16," he said. "At a time when university fees are increasing, this is yet another disincentive for students from poorer backgrounds to aspire to university."

Headteachers have been expressing concern for some time that cuts to careers services have reduced the chances of young people having face-to-face meetings with an adviser.

Overall, yesterday's figures showed that of the 224,045 graduates in 2011, just over 140,000 went into full-time employment. Far more women (82,655) than men (57,425) secured full-time jobs. Men, however, were more likely to be unemployed than women (10,860 compared with 9,760), suggesting they may have been fussier about the type of employment they were prepared to take up.

In terms of those deciding to remain in full-time study, women were again in the ascendancy – 19,260 compared with 16,100 men. Of those in employment, 69 per cent were in full-time paid work, 22 per cent were employed part-time, 5 per cent were self-employed or freelance and 4 per cent were doing unpaid voluntary work.

Most of those who found jobs were in professional or managerial occupations, but 10,720 were in what was described as "elementary occupations" while a further 755 were involved in working as plant or machinery operatives.

A further 10,295 described themselves as being involved in "personal service occupations" – which included working in call centres.

The figures came on the same day as the Office for Fair Access released details of agreements signed with universities to encourage more participation from disadvantaged communities

Cambridge, for instance, has said it wants to boost the number of recruits from "low participation neighbourhoods" from 3.1 to 4 per cent by 2016/17. Oxford wants them to rise from 9.4 per cent to 13 per cent.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Getty
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: PSHE Teacher required in Devon - Star...

SEN Teacher (Primary)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: SEN Primary Teacher required Devon

SEN PPA Cover Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Teacher Jobs in Devon Devon

BSL Level 2 or above - Behaviour Support Assistant

£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are looking for Teaching ...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor