Most UK graduates in “non-graduate jobs”

4 August 2015

A report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has revealed that the majority of UK university graduates find themselves in jobs that do not require a degree.

The report found that following higher education, graduates are over-qualified reaching a “saturation point”, as the newly-graduated are being scorned by a “skills mismatch” after the UK had experienced one of the highest rates of higher education expansion across Europe in recent decades. At the same time, the rise in university graduates has failed to see an increase in high-skill jobs to match this expansion.

The number of new graduates becoming under-employed is becoming more evident as thousands take their first step in their career in jobs find themselves in fields that do require their degrees. 58.8% per cent of graduates are said to be in jobs considered as “non-graduate” roles which is exceeded in Europe only by Greece and Estonia, according to the CIPD. This contrast with, countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Slovenia, which are known for strong vocational training, and have 10 per cent or less of graduates in non-graduate jobs.

“The assumption that we will transition to a more productive, higher-value, higher-skilled economy just by increasing the conveyor belt of graduates is proven to be flawed,” says Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD.

With the number of graduates now “significantly outstripped” by the creation of high-skilled jobs this should certainly be “a wake-up call”.

The CIPD are calling for a “national debate” over how to generate more high-skilled jobs and say that both the government and organisations must act to help graduates make better use of their skills, including the option of apprenticeships.

A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman said: “We are providing the right mix of university places and apprenticeships to ensure more people have the opportunity to advance their careers and businesses to get the skills they need to grow.”

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