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The findings of the High Fliers Research publication ‘The Graduate Market in 2012’ include:

  • 50% of employers expect to recruit more graduates in 2012
  • graduate recruitment is expected to increase by 6.4% in 2012
  • graduate jobs are expected to be created by engineering & industrial companies (up 22.4% compared to 2011), IT & telecommunications firms (up 31.6%), high street banks (up 16.0%) and retailers (up 11.5%) and the public sector employers are expecting to recruit about 500 graduates in 2012
  • employers expect about a third of vacancies to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations, either through work experience placements, vacation work or sponsorships
  • more than half of recruiters warn that graduates who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their organisations’ graduate programmes
  • the largest individual recruiters in 2012 will be PwC (1,200 vacancies), Deloitte (1,200 vacancies), the Teach First scheme (1,000 vacancies), KPMG (800 vacancies) and Ernst & Young (740 vacancies)
  • starting salaries at the UK’s leading graduate employers in 2012 are expected to remain unchanged for a third consecutive year – at a median of £29,000
  • the five universities most often targeted by Britain’s top graduate employers in 2011-2012 are Manchester, London (including Imperial College, University College and the London School of Economics) Cambridge, Nottingham and Oxford

Although these recruitment targets for 2012 are encouraging and build on the increases in vacancies seen in 2011 and 2010, graduate recruitment at the UK’s leading employers remains below pre-recession levels. Across all the organisations featured within the research, graduate recruitment in 2012 is still 6% below that recorded in 2007. By contrast, an extra 50,000 new graduates are expected to leave university in the summer of 2012, compared with the numbers who graduated five years ago.

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