Graduates still face financial background discrimination, TUC report finds

Just under a third of graduates are rebuffing graduate schemes as a route into employment, as well as more than half of graduates claiming that the importance of graduate schemes are ‘overplayed’. 

Research by Tempo, a technology platform which uses machine learning and video to recruit, reveals that almost a third of graduates (29 per cent) are refusing to use graduate schemes as a pathway into work with over half (53 per cent) of graduates claiming that these schemes are overemphasised.

The reasons cited for this include the limitations of the graduate schemes with 43 per cent of recent graduates desiring to develop a wider skill set than the schemes could offer. Additionally, over 41 per cent of graduates are looking for more business exposure than the schemes can offer.

With 64 per cent of Millennial or Gen Z workers actively looking to move sectors and 16 per cent already having had 10 or more jobs, it is evident that flexibility plays a large part when considering graduate schemes.

Over a third (37 per cent) said that graduate schemes deterred them from achieving the flexible lifestyle they desire, also a quarter (25 per cent) want to be their own boss and over half (51 per cent) of those who applied or secured graduate schemes actually ended up opting for another means of business entry.

When sharing their plans for the years ahead, 39 per cent of graduates are looking to work for small, more dynamic companies, 32 per cent want to try different positions within a company and 28 per cent want to carry out short-term work across different companies and industries which will allow them to make more informed decisions.

Ben Chatfield, CEO and co-founder at Tempo, said:

Graduate schemes are clearly not fit for purpose. They have not changed in line with work or the demands of the modern workforce. The application process lacks transparency, accessibility and simplicity, while more importantly, the schemes themselves lack opportunity; the things graduates actually value. Employers are missing out on the best young candidates, narrowing their talent pool and destroying their brand reputation.

Candidates today are a million miles from those who applied 10, or even 5 years, so why are companies ploughing on with the same methods. Business must have a complete rethink of their application process. If they use a flexible and convenient method of employment, the results are undeniable.

In order to attain these results, Opinium, an independent research agency, surveyed 1,000 current or recent (graduated within the last three years), graduates. This was carried out in collaboration with Tempo.

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