Fewer graduates get jobs with sponsors

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THERE has been a steep decline in the number of graduates taking jobs with companies that sponsored them through university.

While the recession has meant that a smaller number of posts are available, there is also increasing evidence that students are being matched with the wrong organisations.

Last year only half the recipients of bursaries joined their sponsoring employer, compared with nearly two-thirds the previous year, according to an annual survey conducted by Industrial Relations Services. There was a sharp drop in the number of organisations recruiting all the students they backed - from 30.6 per cent in 1992 to 18.5 per cent last year.

The research organisation believes companies should take as much care in selecting students as they do choosing graduates for permananent employment. Companies should also ensure students are given 'challenging assignments' during industrial placements and be integrated more closely into management. More than half of the 65 organisations surveyed reported significant changes to their schemes. The most common alteration was to restrict bursaries to a narrower range of disciplines.

More than half the organisations sought to recruit students studying engineering disciplines. Also in demand were those reading business-related subjects, computing and information technology. Only three employers were prepared to recruit people from any discipline.

Industrial Relations Review and Report 550, Employee Development Bulletin; Industrial Relations Services;

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