Graduates Flood Labour Market WEDNESDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2015

The CIPD have produced a report on the UK’s Graduate over-qualification problem, which is affecting over half of those currently working in non-graduate jobs.

What’s changed?
There has been a gradual but noticeable shift in the number of Graduates being employed in positions that were traditionally filled by non-graduates. The CIPD have looked at data spanning from 1991 to 2014 and have surmised that the percentage of professional occupations held by Graduates has risen from 53% to 78%. There are nearly as many graduates as non-graduates in these professions today, whereas in the 90’s only 1 in 6 were. Manual occupations are the only area which hasn’t seen a huge increase.

What has caused the increase?
It seems that in recent years Graduates have flooded the job market and employers are reaping the benefits. This influx has led to a trend in recruitment where the majority of employers are stipulating a Degree as part of the selection process where there was none before.

This is having a negative effect on the recruitment process where Graduates are replacing employees in positions that didn’t previously require a Degree qualification. Non-Graduates are being left with a smaller pool of job opportunities, but there is also the possibility that Graduates are in positions that are below their skill set.

Is University the only option for students?
There are only so many good jobs available and as more students pursue a Degree qualification the demand for these professional positions is only going to continue to increase unless something changes.

The CIPD are calling for some intervention from the Government including providing more highly skilled jobs and to improve career guidance to people of all ages. It is suggested that Employers need to understand if a position really required a Degree or if it’s just a ‘nice to have’, and to work more closely with local schools and colleges to provide apprenticeships.

More choices There are many options available to Students after their A Levels, as well as University there are Apprenticeships and entry level positions to be considered. Parents are being urged to talk through the options with their children, weighing up the pros and cons of a University place. It is a hard decision not to take a University place particularly when employers are setting the bar so high when hiring. With rising tuition fees, huge debts and the lack of opportunities available to Graduates it seems only sensible to consider other avenues as well.

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