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Graduate recruitment picture bleak but there are some silver linings says AGR

The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) claims the situation for graduate recruitment 'could be bleaker' despite the number of vacancies expected to drop by 5.4% this year and graduate salaries being frozen for the first time.

A study by the AGR found the number of vacancies for graduates will drop across the board except in the engineering sector where an increase of 8.3% is expected. Banks expect a 28% cut in graduate vacancies.

Graduate salaries remain the same as in 2008 with the median reported at £25,000 while some employers, notably in the financial sector, are cutting salaries by as much as 8% in some cases.

Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the AGR, said: "What is certain is the economic crisis is concentrating employer' minds on the war for the best and most well-informed talent."

But he added: "While no one doubts the seriousness of the current economic downturn, the picture for graduate recruitment, though worrying, could be bleaker. There are even some silver linings with growth predicted in the engineering and public sectors - both of which are likely to appeal to graduates seeking job security this year."