Job Vacancies for Graduates in UK Expected to Increase by 22% This Year, Report Shows

United Kingdom

Employer demand for graduates in the United Kingdom has increased over the years and remains strong, according to the report “Busting graduate job myths” published by the Universities UK, which addresses the misperceptions that there are too many graduates in the United Kingdom but also a lack of job opportunities.

The demand, according to the report, is expected to increase in the future, as there is a skill shortage in the UK. The number of graduate vacancies has increased by 20 percent more than in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to increase by 22 percent this year, Erudera.com reports.

Other findings include:

  • There are one million more professional jobs than graduates in the UK to fill those jobs
  • Double the number of employees in the country who are underqualified than overqualified
  • There were more UK workers in professional-level during the pandemic, while the number of those in other roles decreased
  • Graduates were less likely to be furloughed or in non-graduate jobs
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to increase the demand for graduates in healthcare, IT, and marketing

President of Universities UK Professor Steve West said that it is important that the UK government develops the right conditions for universities to fully support business growth and development of skills for learners of all ages.

“To be clear this means that the UK Government must invest in a sustainable long-term funding solution for higher education,” West said.

Meanwhile, the Senior Policy Advisor at the Institute of Directors, Alex Hall-Chen, said that investment in skills would be very important for the UK’s recovery from the pandemic, as employers are often citing labor and skills shortages as main factors negatively affecting business.

“Demand for graduate skills among employers remains strong – particularly in transferable employability skills such as critical thinking, communication, and leadership – and the higher education sector will be an essential component in meeting the UK’s rapidly changing skills needs,” Hall-Chen said.

The report also indicates four main myths about the graduate job market, which are:

  • Myth 1: Everyone goes to university nowadays – But in 2020, 48.5 percent of the UK workforce had a degree, and the other half did not and have never received a degree.
  • Myth 2: There aren’t enough graduate jobs –  Data by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) indicate that the number of graduate vacancies is 20 percent higher than in 2019.
  • Myth 4: All the best graduate jobs are in London – 22 percent of 2019 graduates were working in London six months after graduation.
  • Myth 3: Some degrees have little value to employers

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