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Employers are afraid to hire graduates thanks to uncertainty over Brexit – report

Goldman Sachs, one UK’s leading 100 graduate recruiters, are among those cautious about hiring graduates in the year ahead. Source: Shutterstock

A new survey has found that uncertainty arising from Brexit is hurting the graduate job market as well, with many leading employers recruiting fewer graduates by the end of last year.

Top recruiters – including Goldman Sachs, Unilever and BP – have downgraded their hiring plans after the Brexit vote in June 2016, the survey of the UK’s leading 100 graduate recruiters found, according to The Guardian.

“It’s clear from our latest research that the uncertainty caused by Brexit has already hit the graduate job market,” said Martin Birchall, the managing director of High Fliers Research, which conducted the survey.

“Although employers in a number of key industries and business sectors are hoping to increase their graduate recruitment again in 2018, the outlook of many recruiters remains cautious for the year ahead.”

In 2016-17, private sector organisations were hiring 10 percent lesser graduates, compared to the year before. Eight sectors out of 13 hired fewer graduates.

“Instead of expanding their graduate vacancies in 2017 as planned, the country’s best-known accounting and professional service firms, financial services companies and investment banks scaled back their recruitment targets by 17 percent following the Brexit vote,” Birchall said.

The public sector, however, increased its hiring in substantially increased numbers, such as the National Health Service and civil service fast stream. Compared to last year, the engineering sector hiring also rose.

Apart from investment banks and law firms, graduate starting salaries have remained at the same median figure of £30,000, the same as four years previously.

High Fliers research show how the UK graduate job landscape has changed compared to the year before which saw a bumper year for graduate jobs in 2015-16.

Top employers had planned to hire 22,000 graduates in the UK before the referendum, but that figure was reduced by the start of 2017 as the Brexit result sank in. By the end of 2017, only 19,000 were recruited.

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However, the annual Student Recruitment Pulse survey by the ISE (formerly Association of Graduate Recruiters) has found that UK employers are increasing the graduate job offers by 11 percent this year, TheHRDirector reported. There will be an additional 1,423 graduate jobs and mark a return to double-digit growth in the graduate job market, according to the report on 103 of the UK’s largest student employers.

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