Graduate recruitment trends in Scotland are defying the downturn, as new data shows that the number of graduate jobs on offer in Scotland rose by 13 per cent.
A survey of 245 companies by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has shown the number of jobs offered to have increased by 14 per cent in one year.
In 2008, members of the AGR, which includes major employers such as the Bank of England, Morgan Stanley and the Royal Bank of Scotland, offered 1,031 graduate vacancies up from 911 in 2007.
As a result, the proportion of Scottish graduate jobs relative to the overall UK figure has risen from 4.4 per cent to 5.2 per cent.
Sarah Evans, Director of Client Services at Discovery Graduates, reinforces the message to current job hunting graduates that they may have to considered relocation in order to get their first step on the career ladder.
“Scotland has some great cities and amazing countryside, graduates should consider all options when applying for jobs and not just heading to London or back home”
Recruitment levels across the UK pale in comparison, with an increase of just 0.6%, despite a predicted rise of 11.7 per cent.
Vacancies are expected to fall in 2009 by around 5.4 per cent, predominantly in the form of jobs in accountancy, banking and the financial sector, which currently dominate the graduate vacancy market but have been hard hit by the recession.
The relatively stable public sector and the armed forces are expected to take a more central role in graduate employment as the number of jobs on offer falls, and recent data has already shown a sharp rise in the number of applications for jobs in the civil service.
“The economic crisis is concentrating employers' minds on the search for the best and most well-informed talent.”
Carl Gilleard, chief executive,
Nevertheless, London and the South East remain the epicenters of UK graduate recruitment, with 45.4% per cent and 10.5 per cent of reported vacancies, respectively.
Scotland also lags behind in starting salary levels, as the median wage north of the border dropped from £23,000 to £22,000. Nationwide, the median starting salary has stagnated at £25,000.
Evans reinforces the importance of flexibility in these times of economic uncertainty, “The graduate salaries on offer are perfectly adequate to enjoy a reasonable life style and relocate”
It is really important that graduates appreciate the job market they are entering, and that companies will be expecting more of them, in the same way they are of all employees. To really stand out work experience, commitment to a career and research will go along way.