First graduate starting salary rise in three years

Graduates starting their careers this summer will benefit from a six percent rise in salaries.

After three years of frozen starting salaries, the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has predicted £26,000 will be the average salary among its 214 members.

The AGR’s bi-annual survey of its members also had bad news with a predicted drop of 1.2 percent in the number of vacancies available.

Chief Executive of the AGR, Carl Gilleard said: “The predicted increase to graduate salaries is significant and sizeable, particularly given the context of starting salaries remaining stagnant for the past three years. This will no doubt be welcome news to the Government and the higher education sector, but moreover to graduates themselves.”

He added: “The findings show that the market is predicted to remain relatively stable, which is a relief and should be seen as good news against an uncertain national, European and global economy. With the job market intrinsically linked to business confidence, I am cautiously optimistic for graduate recruitment in 2012 and it is encouraging to see that only a slight drop is predicted.”

The AGR asked its members about whether they supported truncated, two-year degree programmes introduced at some universities this academic year. Half had not heard of two year degree programmes, while those that had were concerned students will be prevented from developing skills due to heavy workloads.

Gilleard said: “Employers predict two year degrees will prove popular with students. However, employers do value graduates that have work experience, and those students that have undertaken a year in industry as part of a four year degree. Consequently, there are genuine concerns surrounding students undertaking two year degrees as they do not have as much time to gain workplace experience.”

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