Graduate labour market – not all doom and gloom!

AGCAS Vacancy Survey

The AGCAS Vacancy Survey differs from those of AGR and High Fliers, which question recruiters for larger companies’ graduate training schemes. Universities carry vacancies for organisations from across the economic spectrum, including smaller companies and the not-for-profit sector – see for more information

While the most recent AGR and High Fliers surveys reveal a slightly mixed picture for those graduating this Summer, UK HE heads of Careers Services believe the graduate labour market is on the up.

The AGCAS quarterly survey of careers services reveal that, based on vacancies placed between January – March 2013 compared to the same period the year before, the market was more buoyant (41.4% saying it was better, 51.7% the same). This continues the upward trend from the last quarter of 2012.


Heads continue to report rising numbers of IT and engineering vacancies, with demand outstripping supply. Others indicated increasing opportunities in marketing, advertising and PR and the legal sector.

In banking and financial services, opportunities in ‘middle office’ roles, such as risk and regulation, were reported to be on the increase while vacancies for ‘front office’ positions were less evident. Recruitment in the arts and heritage sectors was also reported to be down.

Short-term internships, not permanent, long-term contracts

Universities throughout the UK reported a continued growth in the number of smaller organisations recruiting graduates. However, some said that there was an increasing trend in taking graduates on via a short-term internship rather than a permanent or long-term graduate job or training scheme. Nevertheless, a number of cases were cited of companies offering graduate training schemes in sectors where they have not hitherto been commonplace. Broadcasting was one example given.

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