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Six in 10 UK graduates overqualified for their job

Almost six out of 10 (58.8%) UK graduates are working in non-graduate roles, according to a CIPD report

Over-qualification and skills mismatch in the graduate labour market revealed that in Europe only Greece and Estonia have a higher percentage of graduates in roles that do not require a degree. Countries with a history of strong vocational training, such as Germany, the Netherlands and Slovenia, have 10% or fewer graduates in non-graduate jobs.

The CIPD offered two interpretations of these findings. It said it might be that graduates? are no more productive than ?previous generations of non-graduates who performed the same roles.

However, the report stressed that it could also be that the content of these jobs has been upgraded. Although occupational titles have ?not changed the jobs now worked by graduates could be more productive.

The CIPD is calling on employers to review their recruitment practices to ensure they are not using a degree as a screening process for jobs that don’t require a university education.

CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese said: “Simply increasing the qualification level of individuals going into a job does not typically result in the skill required to do the job being enhanced. In many cases that skills premium, if it exists at all, is simply wasted.”

Cheese also urged employers to discuss the future of UK graduate positions. “We need to start a national debate about how to generate more high-skilled jobs, which means organisations investing more in developing their leadership and management capability, building more progression routes, and improving work organisation and job design so that people’s ideas and skills are used more effectively in the workplace,” he said.

“The government needs to ensure its productivity plan includes a specific focus on creating more high-skilled jobs and work with employers – particularly SMEs – and with key stakeholders like Local Enterprise Partnerships and business growth hubs to help build organisations’ capability to achieve this.”