James Kewin, Joint MD of CFE, presented the headline findings at the AGR conference this morning.
Here are the headline findings:
- Graduate Recruitment vacancies were predicted to drop by 1.6% in 2010 but this looks more like 6.9%.
- This may look gloomy but actually the story is very different depending on sector. Banking and finance vacancies increased by 72% in 2010 showing that this sector is bouncing back quicker than we thought. Consulting and professional services vacancies have also increased by 52.3% which matches nicely with the growth in the consulting sector within FreshMinds graduate.
- Accountancy and professional services vacancies have increased by 22.9% too.
- Graduate salaries have remained frozen as expected at an average of 25k, the 2008 number though we have seen salary increases in the sectors of FMCG and Law. No change in starting salaries have been seen in investment banking, energy or the consulting sectors.
- Number of applications per graduate vacancy has risen from 48 applications last year per vacancy to 69 applications per vacancy this year. This backs up the argument that graduates are adopting a ’scattergun’ approach to their job search.
- however, looking at at the quality of application, there does not seem to have been a detrimental effect on quality with 57% of employers stating the quality is the same as last year and 23% of employers seeing a higher standard of application this year compared to last year.
- looking at retention, AGR employers were asked how many of their 2009 graduates were still with the employer in 2010, 49.2% of employers answered that all the 2009 grads were still with them.
The year ahead and what to look out for:
- The coalition government decisions and education priorities
- The cuts to the public sector and supply chain
- Pressure on the Higher Education sector
- The Browne review on student finance and funding
- James Kewin said, ‘Expect the unexpected’!
The survey was generally positive and the sectors which FreshMinds works with all seem to be relatively buoyant.
The panel discussion supports the FreshMinds ethos of the importance of face-to-face and one-to-one engagement of graduates. FreshMinds student brand managers and Ones to Watch programme on campus means we can educate and engage with graduates on a deeper level therefore truly understanding their motivations which results in higher conversion ratios with our schemes and roles.
Finally, the panel was asked for their thoughts on the market come 2011….
Marina Aldridge, Audit commission – “We’ve not seen the worst of it for the public sector, the sector will have to outsource more heavily to private sector”.
Stephen Isherwood, Ernst & Young - “I hope the sector will continue to grow from strength to strength, hopefully we’ve seen the worst of it…watch this space.”
Soraya Janmohamed is Head of Graduate at FreshMinds Talent