Against a backdrop of the most recent announcements of tiers post-Lockdown and the emphasis on a decidedly minimal Christmas festivities, how is the current graduate labour market faring? What if any signs of optimism might be found for current finalists who will be graduating this summer, for recent graduates not yet in employment and for those students hoping to secure internships this summer?
Prospects Graduate Labour Market specialist Charlie Ball produces a fortnightly graduate labour market digest which gives the most up to date and reliable overview using credible data sources.
Graduate labour market recruitment will be down in 2021 with recovery projected to be February 2022 at the earliest. However graduate training schemes are not as down as the rest of the labour market. Where remote working is proving effective, these sectors are most likely to recover quickly. Most of the recovery will happen more quickly where roles are highly skilled. Whilst traditional internships are down, employers are exploring different ways to provide opportunities for students- so look out for more innovative ways to gain experience for your CV.
Last summer our partner Bright Network enabled thousands of students to undertake 3-day virtual internships with top graduate recruiters. Warwick students surpassed themselves and undertook in excess of 3,000 internship opportunities- more than any other UK University. This winter vacation Bright Network are offering ‘Internships on demand’ so a great opportunity for students to gain valuable experience over the Christmas vacation. Bright Network membership is free.
Charlie says: ‘The pandemic is going to profoundly change the nature of work for many employees and professional services and IT workers in particular have proved as productive at home as in the office, so a widespread move to homeworking is likely for many graduates. The large majority of workers in tech and professional services are currently working from home, and if this pattern persists it will significantly change many aspects of society, particularly in our cities.’
For the time being- and possibly beyond COVID recruitment and selection processes will remain 100% virtual – so there is no avoiding the online video interview or assessment centre. Download our video interview software and practice before the real thing. You can book an appointment through MyAdvantage with a member of the Careers Team to review your ‘performance.’ You can also sign up next term for Assessment Centre teams workshops so take advantage of the resources available to you to maximise your chances of success.
In conclusion, for graduate recruitment at present, whilst graduate opportunities are down, recruitment for 2021 is stronger than in 2020. The key message to all students for now- don’t assume that because job opportunities are currently down that there is no point in applying. One large graduate recruiter recently told me that the numbers of applications were lower than usual from undergraduates. It’s possible therefore that students may be assuming there is no point in applying, when in fact whilst it’s undoubtedly more competitive, that doesn’t mean you won’t land a job.
So our message to students is very much to apply for jobs and further study; expect more competition but don’t assume it’s not worthwhile applying. With vaccinations now within reach, the world will reopen for business and it will need highly capable, motivated graduates.