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Graduate vacancies to rise more than 10%, says study

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Employers predict the number of graduate vacancies will rise by more than 10% this year, according to a survey.

A questionnaire completed by more than 200 organisations across 19 industry sectors showed employers expected to see a 10.2% rise in the next recruitment round, compared to a 4.3% increase in 2013.

The study by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) suggested vacancy increases would be highest in the IT and telecoms industry, which will see a 40% increase.

The public sector results showed an expected 20% rise, the energy industry was close behind at 18% and banking and financial services was 16%.

AGR chief executive Stephen Isherwood warned that despite the positive results, graduates still needed to make an effort to succeed in the job market.

“There are some sectors – IT and telecoms, energy and banking and financial services looking at double digit growth for 2014,” he said. “What this doesn’t mean, however, is that graduates should be any less focussed on their career search.

“We know that, even through the darkest days of the recession, our members reported unfilled vacancies because they couldn’t find graduates with the right mix of skills and attributes.

“Graduates need to think carefully about their applications and ensure they understand what a potential employer is looking for.”

Assessment provider Talent Q solutions director Lucy Beaumont said recruiters also needed to ensure they knew how to spot talent among graduates.

“Good graduates are out there but often they lack experience so the key is to identify potential and then develop them once on board,” she said. “Graduate recruiters will probably reject 80-99% of candidates, and it’s important that these individuals have a great experience of the company regardless of the outcome.

“Research from Talent Q has found that 70% of graduates claim that just hearing other peoples’ bad experiences with an organisation would put them off applying for a job.

“Graduate recruiters need to ensure a quick, enjoyable application experience that provides a realistic preview of the job, and ensures feedback is given to all graduates who take the time to apply for a job with your company.”

AGR’s survey also studied school-leaver recruitment programmes. It found 55% of employers who have traditionally concentrated on graduate recruitment are currently active in the schools market.

A further 15% said school-leaver programmes formed part of their future recruitment plans.