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Are our graduates employable?

Posted in Candidates, Employers on Jan 29, 2012 by Richard Hayden

A recent report released by the Association of Graduate Recruiters found that 32.3% of graduate recruiters had failed to meet their targets for the year 2010 – 2011.

Recruiters cited that the skill levels of candidates did not always meet requirements, with one respondent explaining that, while the number of applications they received enabled them to meet their business needs, the quality of applications was "not always good". Whilst employers added that one reason they were unable to recruit the right number of graduates was due to a lack of suitable candidates.

This lack of quality graduates has led to recruiters being forced to recruit from the same small pool of candidates, leading to a degree of candidate "drop-out". However one respondent from the professional services sector stated that some quality candidates were simply let down by the quality of their applications. Stating that a climate of uncertainty was creating panic within the candidate market “There's a bit of panic out there, so graduates are perhaps spending less time on their applications”.

With so much uncertainty and youth unemployment at high levels we ask the question, are our graduates employable?  Is a University degree still a valuable asset, and perhaps most importantly are our graduates gaining employable skills at university?

Tuition fees for students will rise this September to the highest the UK has ever seen, at a cost of over £9000 per year most graduates will be leaving University with around £40,000 worth of debt. In November of 2011 Ucas admission service showed a 12.5% fall following the introduction of increased fees, however this has fallen within January of 2012 to just 6.4% (approx 22,000) less applicants than this time last year.

Will a lack of university graduates affect your business? We would like to hear your views on the points raised in this article, please feel free to leave a comment or email us directly at


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