UK: No 'strong and stable' job market post-Brexit for graduates
Almost all international students head home after graduating, new data shows. Source: Shutterstock

Since last year’s Brexit vote, more graduates are opting to continue with postgraduate study, work temporary jobs or take time off to travel instead of joining the workforce, a new research by recruitment consultancy High Flier Research Limited reveals.

Close to three-quarters of the final year students surveyed believe Brexit has left the country with fewer graduate jobs for them this summer. This is the lowest level of confidence in five years.

“Our survey shows just how quickly the impact of last year’s Brexit vote has been felt by university students,” High Flyers Research managing director Martin Birchall said, as reported by The Guardian.

“Despite many of the country’s best-known employers maintaining a ‘business as usual’ approach to recruitment, almost three-quarters of Class of 2017 leaving university this summer fear there will be fewer graduate jobs available as a direct result of the uncertainty caused by Brexit.”

Interest in investment banking, finance and accountancy jobs are down by nearly 20 percent in the past 12 months.

Among graduates of Class of 2017, one in eight is choosing to take time off and travel before deciding what to do with their lives. Source: Shutterstock

Such pessimism has also resulted in the rise of the number of final year students with “no definite plans” post-university. One in eight said they planned to take “time off” or travel.

Other options include continuing with postgraduate study, where the number of interested applicants has risen to 26 percent this year, the first time in seven years.

The research follows the Institute of Fiscal Studies’ (IFS) report last week, which found some students graduating university with up to GBP57,000 (US$73,512) worth of debt. High Flier similarly reports the Class of 2017 will also graduate with the highest level of debt ever – around £37,700 (US$48,620) per person – though three-fifths have received help from their parents for tuition fees or living costs.

“Tale of two camps”

But while more are opting to pack up and hit that Banana Pancake trail, there still remains a segment of graduates who prefer to dive straight into the job market. The difference this time around is that the disparity between these two groups is more pronounced.

“These results suggest Class of 2017 can be divided into two distinct camps,” the report wrote.

“For those who are heading for the graduate job market, they are among the most organised, employment-focused and ambitious of their generation… But there are signs, too, more of this year’s new graduates will be opting out of the job market altogether, with increased numbers applying for postgraduate courses and more students uncertain about what to do next.”

High Fliers surveyed more than 20,000 final year undergraduates from 30 leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and Bristol.

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