Internships “crucial” for non-Russell-Group graduates

Eighty-three per cent of recent non-Russell-Group graduates feel that they wouldn’t have been able to secure their first graduate role without an internship, compared to just 14% of their Russell Group contemporaries

According to research from Milkround, two-thirds (66%) of the most recent non-Russell-Group graduates (aged under 26) said they wouldn’t have been able to secure their graduate job without previous experience.

In contrast, just 32% of Baby Boomer (55- to 73-year-old) non-Russell-Group graduates felt they needed previous experience to get their first graduate job.

Georgina Brazier, marketing manager for Milkround at Totaljobs Group, said: “It’s clear that internships are now crucial for young graduates when looking for their first job, even more so for graduates from non-Russell-Group universities.

“Businesses need to make sure that their internship schemes are not only accessible to everyone, but also challenge interns to develop the skills they’ll need when entering the workplace,” she added.

Across generations, more than half (55%) of non-Russell-Group graduates said they wouldn’t have been able to secure their first graduate role without an internship. In comparison, just 46% of Russell Group graduates said the same.

Arguably industry dependent, a breakdown of the respondents' current industries showed that education (15%), health and social care (12%) and IT & technology (11%) were the most prominent sectors among the group.

The research also showed graduates are now being recruited earlier, with 60% of Generation Z (18- to 22-year-olds) having secured a graduate position before they leave university.

One in three (33%) Generation Zers secured their graduate role before reaching their final year, while 27% secured their first role during their final year of university.

This contrasts with 17% of Millennials (23- to 38-year-olds) who secured a role in their last year, and nearly half (48%) who found graduate employment post university.

Opinium surveyed 2,000 UK graduates between 6 and 14 February 2020 on behalf of Milkround.