Graduates face harsh jobs market

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Indy Politics
(First Edition)

EMPLOYMENT prospects for graduates are at their worst since 1983, a survey published yesterday by the Liberal Democrats revealed, writes Sarah Strickland.

One in ten of last year's university graduates was still looking for a job six months after graduating 6,465 compared to 4,333 in 1990 according to figures to be published shortly by the Universities Statistical Record.

The number of firms attending careers fairs at 13 centres around the country fell from 1,611 in 1990 to 580 this year, while the number of job vacancies advertised in the Graduate Employment Services magazine plummeted from 15,272 in 1990 to 3,528 this year.

Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman, said: 'Our results show that the increase in unemployment and the recession are now affecting even the most well-qualified people.

'Now the promise of secure opportunities for graduates is disappearing, the credibility of one of the main planks of the Government's higher education policy is under serious question.'

More graduates were taking their skills abroad, he said. Prospective students who were considering higher education would be put off by the fear of being jobless and in debt at the end. He called for incentives for small businesses to take on graduates.