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LETTER : Women graduates struggle to get jobs too

THE article by Simon Midgley and Barrie Clement, "So what is the point of young men?" (12 March), contained a couple of misleading statements concerning the relative successes of men and women graduates in obtaining jobs.

First, the figures apparently showing that "women graduates now find it easier to get jobs than their male counterparts" are considerably biased by teacher- training courses where women outnumber men by four to one. Since more than four-fifths of these graduates find permanent jobs, excluding them from the overall figures reduces the "sex difference" in employment rates to an imperceptible 1.1 percentage points.

Second, jobs are not "most plentiful" for engineering and technology graduates, who record below average employment and above average unemployment rates.

In fact, because men constitute 87 per cent of the output from these disciplines, it is not surprising that graduate employment rates for men are lower than those for women.

Bob Ward

Statistics Department

Higher Education Careers Services Unit