Women better at finding jobs

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Male graduates are far more likely to remain unemployed than females, according to research published yesterday.

Figures show 8 per cent of men were still unemployed six months after completing their degrees - compared with just 4.7 per cent of women.

Researchers claim the reason is that women are much more receptive to the idea of taking up part-time jobs or starting off on a lower rung of the employment ladder than men. They are also more likely to take on voluntary unpaid work or opt to combine work with further study while waiting for the right opportunity to come along.

According to research from the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (Hecsu), a charity, men are more likely to bide their time waiting for "the big one" to turn up, said Mike Hill, the chief executive of Hecsu.

"Thanks to their greater initial application, it is women who considerably enhance their employment prospects during those important first few months following graduation." The study looked at the job destinations of all the graduates who obtained their first degree in 2004 - the latest statistics available - and is published in Hecsu's Graduate Market Trends survey.

The figures also showed that women tended to be older on graduating - 16.8 per cent of them were over 30 when obtaining their first degree compared to just 11.6 per cent of males.

Researchers believe the figures reflect the number of women who start a family first and then consider a career option later.