Three quarters of 2017 graduates believe Brexit means fewer jobs

New research from High Flyers reveals that ¾s of the 20,000 graduates surveyed believe there will be fewer jobs for those leaving university this summer because of last year’s Brexit vote. The research also shows that the number of new graduates applying to work in investment banking and finance has dropped by up to a fifth in the last 12 months, as these are sectors thought to be most exposed to any Brexit turmoil.

Overall, the number of finalists making job applications is down 4% to 71%.

The UK Graduate Careers Survey carried out face-to-face, on-campus interviews with 20,102 final year students from 30 leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester & Birmingham.   

Confirming that confidence in the graduate job market has declined for the first time in five years, and concluding that fewer graduates this year want to work in the City’s top investment banks because of Brexit-driven job market fears, the research also shows that an increased number of final year students plan to remain at university to continue their studies, financed by new government postgraduate loans.

Consulting continues to be the top destination for new graduates, ahead of entry level jobs in marketing, the media and R&D. The number of applicants to teaching fell for the 5th consecutive year.

42% - 2% less than last year – expect to start work after graduation or will spend the summer looking for their first job. Fewer students expect to take temporary or other non-graduate work after completing their degrees, but more finalists have ‘no definite plans’ for life beyond university. Conversely, the number of finalists intending to go on to postgraduate study has increased to 26% - the first increase in 7 years. One in every eight is hoping to take time off or go travelling after graduation and 3% plan to work for themselves.

In financial terms, the research uncovers that new graduates’ average student debt is a record £37,700. That is despite the fact that one in eight students’ parents paid their tuition fees and 3/5s had their living costs subsidised by their parents.

While the average starting salary has risen modestly to £24,300, the salary graduates expect to be paid 5 years after leaving university has increased to £43,200. One sixth of those asked believe they will be earning an annual salary of £100,000 by age 30. Almost half of all job hunters hope to work in the capital, which is also the first choice destination for finalists at 26 out of the 30 universities surveyed.

Nearly half of all final year students report completing an average 6 months of work experience through course placements, internships, or vacation work with graduate employers, but the number of those finalists undertaking casual vacation or part-time work during term-time dropped to the lowest level ever.

Managing director of High Fliers Research, Martin Birchall commented: “Our latest survey shows just how quickly the impact of last year’s Brexit vote has been felt by university students, 92% of whom voted to ‘remain’ in the EU. Despite many of the country’s best-known employers maintaining a ‘business as usual’ approach to graduate recruitment this year, almost three-quarters of the ‘Class of 2017’ leaving university this summer fear that there will be fewer graduate jobs available as a direct result of the uncertainty caused by Brexit. Even with parental support for university tuition fees and living costs, students now face record graduation debts of £37,700, so the pressure to secure a well-paid graduate job after university has never been greater.”


Thursday, 20 July 2017

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