number of graduates taking low-skilled work has soared whilst a
fifth are left with no job at
After three years of study and thousands of
pounds worth of debt, graduates are emerging into the world of work
with no choice but to take jobs that involve stacking shelves or
Around a third of graduates now leave
university to start work in low skilled jobs, this is up from
around a quarter 10 years ago according to new figures. With so
many graduates in non-graduate jobs at the end of 2011, the figures
from the Office for National Statistics paints a glum picture for
The good news for graduates is that they are
paid more and less likely to be unemployed upon graduating than
those that haven’t been. The study also calculated the typical wage
of graduates, which was found to be £15 an hour, compared to the
earning of £9 an hour for non-graduates.
Figures do suggest that recent graduates may
be improving, with 18.9 per cent of graduates out of work at the
end of last year compared to 20.7 per cent at the peak of the
Liam Burns, president of the National Union of
Students, said: "At a time of record youth unemployment it is more
important than ever that there are opportunities to develop the
education and skills we need for economic recovery."
"These figures will understandably make grim
reading for many students and graduates who see their opportunities
limited, but the expansion of higher education and long-term
investment in our future is infinitely preferable to a growing dole
queue and a higher benefits bill."
Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC,
said: "The recession has hit the job prospects of recent graduates
but they are still nearly 20 per cent more likely to be in work
than people without degrees.
"A lack of quality jobs has forced more
graduates into lower-skilled jobs. Raising the skills of UK workers
must be accompanied with an industrial strategy focused on boosting
high-value industries such as manufacturing. Otherwise public
investment in education and the talents of graduates will continue
to be wasted."