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University Graduates Struggling to Find Work


27 July 2015 at 12:49 pm
Xavier Smerdon
More than 30 per cent of university graduates were unable to find jobs within four months of finishing their degrees, a comprehensive survey has found.

Xavier Smerdon | 27 July 2015 at 12:49 pm


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University Graduates Struggling to Find Work
27 July 2015 at 12:49 pm

More than 30 per cent of university graduates were unable to find jobs within four months of finishing their degrees, a comprehensive survey has found.

The 2014 Graduate Careers Australia report surveyed 113,000 new graduates and found that only 68.1 per cent of bachelor degree holders had found full-time employment within four months, a drop of 3.2 per cent from 2013.

Shadow Minister for Employment, Brendan O’Connor, said the Government needed to do more to support jobseekers.

“It’s a dire situation when skilled university graduates, ready to grasp opportunities, are struggling to land a full time job in their chosen field,” O’Connor said.

The report suggested that the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC) was to blame for the difficult job market.

“It is clear that the labour market for new graduates has yet to fully recover from the downturn experienced in late 2008 following the global financial crisis (GFC), which was in turn followed by a series of economic and policy events such as the mining downturn, flattened consumer confidence, workforce globalisation and off-shoring, increasing task automation and concerns about the state of the international economy as seen in Greece and China,” the report said.

“It is perhaps not surprising that local recruiters are adopting a prudent ongoing hiring stance that sees new graduates taking longer than usual to find employment.”

However, GCA's Beyond Graduation Survey, which follows up Australian Graduate Survey respondents three years after their original survey response, shows that in 2013, the full-time employment figure for 2010 graduates was 90.2 per cent, an increase of almost 14 per cent from the previous survey.

“And in the longer-term, graduates’ prospects remain even stronger. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures for May 2014 show that, in the general labour force (aged 15-74), just 3.2 per cent of bachelor degree graduates were unemployed (3.4 per cent in 2013). This compares very favourably with the May 2014 unemployment rate for those without post-school qualifications, which was 8.2 per cent,” Graduate Careers Australia said.

“Additionally, the latest Department of Employment projections show that job prospects for skilled workers, those with a bachelor degree or higher qualification, remain favourable.

“Employment of graduates is forecast to grow by 13.1 per cent over the five years to November 2019 in comparison with expected growth in overall employment of 10 per cent.

“It’s a dire situation when skilled university graduates, ready to grasp opportunities, are struggling to land a full time job in their chosen field.”

The GCA’s research found that those bachelor degree graduates with some work experience gained before or during their study years had an advantage in the labour market after graduation.

It also found that of graduates who found full-time work in 2014, the most common methods were checking advertisements via the internet, talking to family or friends, using their university or college careers service, and approaching employers directly.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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