According to a new study of the UK’s top 100 employers, the number of graduate vacancies is expected to increase by 4.3 per cent in 2017.
Richard Finch from the Careers and Employability Service warns it will be more important than ever that students have gained relevant work experience while at university.
The study, which was conducted by High Flyers Research, found the largest recruiters of graduates in 2017 are expected to be:
- accounting and professional services firms
- public sector employers
- engineering and industrial firms
- investment banks
Together these industries have combined recruitment targets of almost 13,000 graduate positions.
The biggest growth is expected to be seen within public sector organisations, as well as the high street and online retailers, which together will have over 1,200 extra graduate roles in 2017.
Richard said: “For current undergraduate students the report highlights how in today’s competitive graduate jobs market, work experience schemes are an increasingly important part of the graduate recruitment process.
“Because students applying for paid work placements go through a similar recruitment process to that used for graduates, once a placement has been successfully completed employers are increasingly able to offer students a graduate position, often a full year before they are due to complete their degree.”
The new study also found that paid work experience programmes for students are offered by 90% of the country’s top employers, with three-quarters providing paid vacation internships and at least half offering industrial placements.
However, the report indicates that there may be a drop in the number of work experience places available in 2017. Richard believes this will make it even more important for current students to make the most of available placement and internship opportunities.
According to High Flyers Research, substantial numbers of employers are now also offering work experience places for first year undergraduates – with over a quarter of organisations offering paid internships and two-fifths of employers running insight sessions, open days and other taster experiences for first year students.
Richard explained: “There was good news for our students in the report too, as the University of Liverpool maintained its position in the top 25 institutions targeted by the UK’s top employers – and for the recruiters who do visit the campus, they are frequently looking to meet first or penultimate year undergraduates just as much as final year students.”
Together, the graduate employers featured in the research are offering almost 14,000 paid internships and work experience placements this year.
Over a third of recruiters who took part in the research warning that graduates who have no previous work experience are unlikely to be successful during the selection process, and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their graduate programmes.
For help finding and applying for internships, work experience and graduate jobs, please get in touch with the Careers and Employability Service.