Institute of Student Employers’ (ISE) Pulse Survey 2019 found that some of the UK’s largest employers are increasing their apprentice and graduate vacancies by 27 per cent this year. Respondents are offering more than 17,000 entry jobs and the majority (70 per cent) don’t anticipate Brexit will have any impact on their recruitment needs.
However, with more than half (55 per cent) of employers unable to fill entry-level jobs last year – 1,839 jobs were left unfilled – there are concerns that Brexit may make it more difficult to source the talent they need (49 per cent). Filling specialist and technical jobs both at entry level (32 per cent) and in more experienced roles (38 per cent) is of greater concern than filling more general positions (17 per cent).
Graduate roles continue to dominate the market at 66 per cent, compared to apprenticeships. However, apprenticeships are growing more rapidly at 47 per cent than graduate jobs at 18 per cent. Growth in vacancies is reflected in how much of the apprenticeship levy employers are spending, which is expected to increase by more than a quarter this year to 39 per cent.
Demand for graduates has increased the most in the public sector (up 32 per cent). More graduate jobs are also more likely to be found in finance, FMCG, the built environment and IT.
The number of apprenticeships available has increased the most in retail and IT, up 128 per cent and 65 per cent respectively. While there is also significant demand for apprentices in energy, engineering and industry (up 40 per cent), this is the only sector to reduce the number of graduate jobs (three per cent fall).
Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the ISE, said,
It will be welcome news to students and graduates that companies are optimistic about the number of jobs they’ll be offering this year. There are more routes into some of the country’s best jobs and apprenticeships continue to grow at pace, suggesting the government’s apprenticeship strategy is maturing and starting to have the desired effect.
There are, however, concerns over the supply of talent: that the market is contracting and Brexit may compound the issue and make for an even tougher climate. Getting the specialist and technical skills necessary for businesses to not just survive, but also grow and thrive, will be vital over the coming months and years. Clarity is needed as soon as possible to enable employers to plan.
Interested in recruiting graduates? We recommend this Graduate Recruitment and Development Forum 2019