Graduate Blog

Less Jobs Available for Unqualified than Graduates in UK


According to a new employment survey conducted by the Institute of Education the amount of jobs that now require a degree has overtaken the number of jobs that don’t require any form of qualification. This means that 25% of jobs that are available are only available to graduates.

The survey reveals how roles for those without qualifications are disappearing and an increased emphasis has been placed on those with skills and qualifications. Using the latest figures from 2012, the Skills and Employment Survey showed a new record low for unskilled jobs and an all-time high for graduate jobs.

During the mid-1980s around 10% of jobs available were for graduates, with over three times more unskilled roles being available for those leaving school without qualifications.

Since then, this has completely reversed with an increasing number of roles requiring degrees and less unskilled jobs. The reduction in the number of unskilled jobs available has increased significantly since 2006, with this latest survey finding it at an all-time low of 23% of the labour market, in comparison to the 26% of graduate jobs.

The survey suggested: “At no time in the 1986-2012 period have falls and rises of these magnitudes been recorded.”

This latest study, which was funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and the Economic and Social Research Council, is just more evidence of the struggle young people with no qualifications are facing when they attempt to enter into employment.

It also emphasises the issue surrounding employers who can’t find sufficiently qualified staff while there are many young people who are unemployed and keen to learn.

The survey also revealed that 74% of graduates are in a graduate job, compared to 2006’s 69%.

Speaking about these statistics, the Institute of Education’s Prof Francis Green said that graduates are being used better in the workforce.

“Although mismatches remain quite high, this turnaround may signal more effective use of qualifications at work by employers.

“Employers have been slow to take up the swathes of better-qualified workers, but now they are starting to wake up to the use of graduate labour.”

CBI’s director of education and skills, Neil Carberry, also added: “The vast majority of young people in future are going to need a route to higher skills if the UK is going to compete globally.

“The changing face of the economy means that we have to expand alternative routes to higher skills alongside traditional residential university courses.

“Even below degree level, addressing the shortage of skilled technicians we face will require better-quality courses, with a strong role for businesses working with universities, colleges and providers to design the curriculum.”

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