Graduate job prospects best since 2007 as public sector leads recruitment

Statistics show an 8.7 per cent rise in the number of graduate vacancies, taking employment levels back to the year before the recession began to bite

Education Editor

Job prospects for the class of 2014 – graduating this summer – are as rosy as at any time since the start of the recession, new figures indicate.

The statistics show an 8.7 per cent rise in the number of graduate vacancies, taking employment levels back to where they were in 2007, the year before the recession began to bite.

The largest increase is in the public sector, mainly as a result of the Teach First scheme, which is now the largest single recruiter of graduates in the country with 1,550 vacancies this year.

The scheme, originally launched in London and said to be responsible for a major rise in school performance, has now spread to other towns and cities throughout the country. Under the programme, the country’s brightest graduates commit to working for two years in schools serving disadvantaged area. Most stay in education when the two-year period expires.

Today’s research by graduate-recruitment expertHigh Fliers is based on a survey of the country’s 100 top graduate recruiters. Between them, the recruiters plan to employ 18,264 graduates this year compared with 16,895 in 2013.

Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers, said: “This very significant increase in graduate vacancies at Britain’s top employers means the job prospects for graduates leaving universities this year are the best they have been since the sart of the recession seven years ago.”

“The outlook for 2014 is significantly more upbeat,” the report concluded.

The 8.7 per cent rise is the biggest increase in vacancies for four years, and coincides with a major increase in paid internships and work-experience placements for students still at university. Employers plan to offer more than 11,000 such placements this year.

Aside from the public sector, the biggest increases are largely down to City investment banks, accounting and professional services, retailers and engineering and industrial companies. 

The top three individual recruiters are Teach First with 1,550 vacancies, PwC with 1,200 and Deloitte’s  with 1,000. 

However, salaries for the class of 2014 have stagnated – the average is £29,000 a year, a figure that has remained the same for the past five years. The top wages will be paid by investment banks – £45,000 – followed by law firms (£39,000) and banking and finance houses (£33,000).

The survey shows that  11 out of the 13 key areas for graduate recruitment are expecting to expand this year.

The two areas still suffering a major downward trend in vacancies are the media – where vacancies are down 57.9 per cent compared with 2007 – and the armed services, which are down by  39.6 per cent.

Hiring: Graduate recruiters

Trends in vacancies from 2007 to 2014 (in percentages)

1 Public sector  +94.4  2 Computing  +77.1

3 Retailing +58.4

4 Consulting +10.4

5 Consumer goods  +7.5

6 Industrial -1.3

7. Services  -3.4

8 Banking -10.6

9 Law -22.6

10 Energy -25.4

11 Investment banking  -32.5

12 Armed forces  -39.6

13 Media -57.9

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

AER Teachers: Graduate Primary Teaching Assistant

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: This central London prima...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you a recent graduate loo...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash