Graduate vacancies 20% higher than pre-pandemic

Institute of Student Employers has reported a 20% increase in graduate job vacancies since before the pandemic

A survey representing the UK’s largest graduate employers found that the UK job market has 20% more graduate job vacancies than in 2019.

The report, carried out by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE), illustrates a significant improvement in the UK job market since before the pandemic. The report also suggests that graduate job vacancies are to increase by more than 22% in 2022.

The chief executive at ISE, Stephen Isherwood, expressed that although the graduate job market is still competitive, the remarkable rise in job vacancies demonstrates “business confidence and how much employers continue to value a degree”.

Sectors expected to have the most opportunities in the coming year are built environment, energy, engineering and industry, and health and pharmaceuticals. 

With a significant number of employers noting a drop in the quality of applicants, students should be aware of resting on their laurels
– 
Stephen Isherwood, Institute of Student Employers

The charity and public sectors are the only industries set to have fewer job vacancies this year than last year, yet have still seen an overall increase in jobs since before the pandemic. 

Retail sectors are the only industries to have not returned to pre-pandemic levels of hiring.

Competition for graduate jobs reached a record high in 2021. This year, employers have reported receiving almost 50% fewer applicants than the same time last year, particularly due to difficulties engaging students with careers events now that campuses are open – illustrating the graduate job market becoming more student-driven. The survey also shows that nearly one in five employers feel the quality of graduate applicants has dropped from previous years.

Isherwood added: “This is great news for those job hunting. The hike in vacancies means a return to a student-driven market. However, with a significant number of employers noting a drop in the quality of applicants, students should be aware of resting on their laurels.”


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