Graduates shun public sectorAn online survey by Totaljobs reveals that fewer than one in ten (9%) graduates would choose to work in the public sector in preference to the private or charity sectors, with nearly half of them (47%) put off by job cuts. (This is despite the fact that a fifth (20%) of recent graduates claim to have been looking for work for over a year, with almost a third (31%) saying they’d take any job that came along.) If these intentions are borne out, the resulting gap in the talent pipeline could be a big problem for the sector in the future.
Totaljobs’ graduate director Mike Fetters (pictured) says “We all know that the graduate market is tough at the moment with further public-sector job cuts looming, but it’s surprising to see so few would choose to work in the public sector. Only a few years ago the public sector was a top graduate job destination and, despite the cuts, there are still positions available, all of which provide good training, career progression and, despite reports, a wide range of employee benefits. With this in mind, it’s really important for graduates to at least dip their toe in and look into this diverse sector and the opportunities it has to offer.”
The survey also indicated that confidence among graduate job-seekers continues to decrease, with 82% believing they’re in a tougher jobs market than that of two years ago (at the height of the recession). However, the research also revealed that almost a quarter (24%) of respondents spend less than an hour on applying for a job, while nearly half (49%) spend only 1-2 hours on a single application.
“Graduates should be reassured that work is out there for those who are willing, but it is important that they spend time on each application,” adds Mike. “Graduates must be extra vigilant to ensure that each application is tailored to the employer they are applying to, as well as being absolutely sure it is free from errors to allow themselves the best possible chance of securing an interview.”
With confidence low, wage expectations among those questioned are also on the decline. At the start of their courses, over half thought they’d be earning £20,000 a year or more in their first graduate role. But now, only 45% of those still studying think they’ll get £20,000 or more, with the majority (55%) anticipating less than £19,000.