Volatile climate means only 4% of people applying for graduate schemes will secure their place, recruiter IntaPeople warns


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As young people contend with one of the worst job markets the UK has ever seen, a poll of 3,140 newly graduated and final year students by recruiter IntaPeople showed over two thirds (69%) have already applied, or intend to apply, for established graduate schemes this year.

But the company predicts that less than 4% of these individuals will go on to successfully secure a graduate scheme place.

IntaPeople believes that their time could be better spent seeking junior positions with SMEs, where competition for places is much less fierce.

Stephen Riley, director at IntaPeople, said: "Graduate schemes have always been extremely popular among university leavers, offering them a nice bridge between academic and working life. But when there is such enormous competition for places, graduates need to be smart about how they use their time and consider a broad range of job opportunities.

"Many of these schemes are extremely time-intensive and offer little in the way of feedback for unsuccessful applicants. This time could be spent making inroads into organisations that may not have established schemes in place, but will be able to provide a vital starting point for ambitious individuals."

Last year, PwC reported that it had received 22,000 applications for 1,200 graduate openings, whilst Waitrose saw 4,900 individuals apply for just 20 positions. With more than a million young people currently out of work, total application figures are expected to rise again this year.

IntaPeople doesn't rule out applying for graduate schemes, though, if graduates believe they are a good match for a particular opportunity.

"If you have an exceptional academic background and possess experience that is highly relevant to a scheme, then it is well worth applying," said Riley.

"It is a case of weighing up each opportunity logically so as to give yourself the best possible chance of success. Many are finding that social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter are effective ways of discovering opportunities that others have missed, which significantly improves the likelihood of them getting an interview."


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