Job Prospects for UK Graduates Improve
Could there finally be some light at the end of the unemployment tunnel? From the slag heap of bankers’ largesse, record unemployment and state impotency, the improbable shoots of an economic recovery appear to be finally sprouting. According to a survey of the top 100 graduate recruiters the coming year will see an 8.7% rise in graduate vacancies.
The public sector in general and the Teach First scheme in particular are the main driving forces behind this increase. Under the Teach First scheme, top graduates are encouraged to devote 2 years to teaching in schools. Originally piloted in London, the scheme has contributed to a significant improvement in participant schools’ performance, and has now been rolled out UK wide. This wider roll out will require that 1,550 graduates are taken on in the coming year – making Teach First the number 1 recruiter of graduates in the UK. Giving Teach First a close run for their money are PwC and Deloittes who aim to recruit 1,200 and 1,000 graduates respectively.
All in all 2014 promises to be the best year for graduate recruitment since the height of the global financial delusion in 2007. 18,264 graduates are set to benefit and hearteningly will do so across most sectors of the UK economy.
While the outlook for graduate employment is improving the same cannot be said for wages. Like a careless elephant who has wandered into a pit of tar sands, they are stuck fast. This year an average graduate in the UK can expect to earn £29,000 – the same as 5 years ago. Wages are sinking amidst the rising tide of living expenses and ordinary workers are struggling to keep their heads above water.
The effect of the current deflationary pressure on wages is to reduce the amount of disposable income in the pockets of consumers. A potential bottom up Keynesian stimulus package, originating from the masses as opposed to the state is therefore nipped in the bud. This results in an economy pootling along in second gear in threat of being overtaken by the scenery.
That the job prospects for young graduates have finally rebounded to pre-crisis levels is of course a good thing. The next step along the long and winding road of recovery is for wages to start to grow as well.