By Mark Davidson
The number of graduate vacancies in the UK rose in last year’s recruitment season for the first time since the recession, according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).
With a rise in vacancies of 8.9 per cent in 2009/2010 from the previous recruitment round the highest for years, the AGR anticipates a further rise of 3.8 per cent for 2010/2011.
Despite the rise in vacancies and an increase in tuition fees, the starting salary for median graduates remained fixed at £25,000 for the second year in a row and it is predicted to remain at that level for 2011.
Carl Gilleard, CEO of the AGR, said: “The fact that salaries are predicted to remain the same for a third year and fewer employers are offering financial incentives for graduates, is also evidence that the demand for jobs still greatly outstrips supply and recruiters continue to receive above and beyond the number of applications they require.”
During the latter part of last year large companies from the retail sector also announced that a number of graduate positions were going to open up in 2011.
John Lewis revealed plans to double its graduate scheme intake for the 12-month period by offering places to 32 aspiring retail moguls.
Commenting at the time, Recruitment Manager at the department store group Sophie Milliken remarked: “We’re very pleased to be in the position of being able to double our graduate intake this year.
“At John Lewis we have many partners who have progressed through our graduate training up to senior management roles and we hope that by increasing the number of graduates we take on, we can continue to develop talent and business leaders of the future.”
Grocery firms Tesco and Sainsbury’s, as well as e-commerce giant Amazon, all expect to make more UK jobs available in the year ahead, which suggests that retail could become one of the major graduate employers of 2011.