Tag: Graduate

3 in 5 UK professionals are unhappy with their current salary 

CV Library’s latest survey has revealed that a staggering 61% of professionals are unhappy with their salary, with the 1,500 surveyed professionals showing that lawyers, teachers and new graduates were the most unhappy with their current salary packages.

Despite this, the majority (54.6%) of respondents stated they had never tried to negotiate for a higher salary.

Results demonstrated that the reason respondents hadn’t negotiated a higher salary was that 51% feared it would risk losing their job, while 40% replied that they didn’t want to be seen as too pushy and finally 31% saying they didn’t know how to negotiate.

The pandemic appears to have worsened the issue as 29% of respondents said they were even less likely to ask for more money in 2021 than they were before the arrival of COVID-19. However, the landscape has change with record numbers of job postings in the last six months and confidence among the UK workforce has grown as we enter into 2022.

According to CV Library, the salary shift is already reflecting in the 2022 job market with average salaries on the rise in 16 sectors in January 2022 so far, compared to January 2021. The top 5 sectors with salary increases are:

  1. Hospitality/hotel +65.8%
  2. Marketing +12%
  3. IT +11.6%
  4. Administration +10.3%
  5. Management +9.4%

Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library comments: “When the pandemic first struck, businesses held all the power and competition for top jobs was tougher than ever. However, in the last few months we have seen this power shift back in favour of candidates and the year-on-year salary increases we are seeing across many industries already in 2022, substantiates this. As such, candidates should feel able to negotiate on salary without fear of losing out on an exciting opportunity.”

Biggins continued: “The key to negotiation is to be prepared. Be sure that you know what you’re worth and what you can bring to the business that will justify a higher salary. To successfully negotiate a salary increase, it’s vital that you take the time to think about what you want, and you check out the latest salaries on offer for your specific role. This will give you the supporting evidence that your expectations are realistic for the 2022 job market.”

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Concerns about prospects in the post-pandemic job market are driving more young people to stay in education and training despite talent shortages across a range of sectors.

Research from City & Guilds found that 40% of 17-19-year-olds in the last two years of school plan to go to university and 20% now want to stay in full time education for longer than they originally intended. This compares to 13% who say the same for apprenticeships, and 22% who plan to go straight into employment.

While 44% of school leavers choosing university consider this to be the best way to get a job, and 39% believe they will get paid well if they have a degree, recent research from Incomes Data Research found that both a graduate and a fully qualified degree-level apprentice could expect to earn the same salary upon completion of their qualification (£32,500).

Data from the ONS indicates that 37% of all graduates are unable to land graduate level jobs and data from City & Guilds Group’s Skills Index report (supported by the British Chambers of Commerce) suggests that only 18% of employers intend to recruit graduates to fill skills gaps in the next 12 months as businesses prioritise new recruits who are work-ready.

C&G’s report also found that employers are twice as likely to take on apprentices or trainees to fill skills gaps (36%), as opposed to graduates (18%).

“For many young people, the idea of university being the golden ticket to a great career is ingrained from an early age,” said Kirstie Donnelly, CEO of City & Guilds. “But as the jobs landscape continues to reel from the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit, it’s more important than ever before to understand that this isn’t the only option available to them.

“Ahead of results day, it’s important that young people understand the full range of options available to them and which types of jobs are likely to be available when they finish their studies. As part of this, we need to ensure that young people have access to robust and up to date careers advice that considers the genuine needs of the local labour market so they can make smarter choices about their career paths.”

Results anxiety

Research of 1,001 UK students aged 16-22 commissioned by FutureLearn in July found that 41% of young people are worried their exam results will have a lasting impact on their ability to get a job in the future; and 31% are worried bad exam results will impact their chances of earning enough money in the future.

It also found that 41% are worried they would not be able to get into university and 25% that they would not be able to get a job if their grades were not as they had hoped.

The research indicates that home life, not just school life, is affecting young people’s confidence levels with pressure from parents compounding a need to be seen as achieving by peers and virtual networks. Self-love is a top concern with 72% believing they would be disappointing themselves.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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The average Brit has six jobs in their lifetime, according to new research by Investec Click & Invest.  However, those aged between 18 and 34 plan to only stay in their current job for an average of three years and four months, which equates to an average of 12.5 jobs during their working lives** – more than twice the national average.

Millennials are most likely to be driven by wanting more money, a new challenge or career progression (all 35%).  This compares to older individuals, whose primary reasons for wanting to change jobs include being unhappy in their current role (33%), wanting to do something different (25%) or wanting to do something they are passionate about (24%),

Indeed, only 23% of millennials stated that they would want to move because they were unhappy, while they are also less likely to want to move to have an easier job (4% versus 7% of over-35s) – dispelling the myth of the “lazy millennial”.

It is 18 to 34-year olds who also secure the highest proportional pay rise at 20.4% when they change jobs. While this is largely due to the lower average salaries earned by those starting their careers (£30,913), this still represents an increase of £5,235 – 64% higher than the national average pay rise.

Jane Warren, CEO of Investec Click & Investec, said, “The days of a job for life have long been over and our findings show that younger people are keen to take control of their careers by switching jobs to meet their objectives, despite the greater insecurity this brings.  Against this backdrop, it is important that they save and invest to provide the certainty and security that may be otherwise missing.”

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UK universities should be prevented from charging the maximum level of tuition fees unless they deliver better graduate outcomes, a new report from the CIPD has recommended ahead of the Budget next week.

‘The graduate employment gap: expectations versus reality’ shows that just half (52%) of graduates secure a graduate-level job six months after they finish their course. The Government’s official figure is inflated to 77% by including ‘associate professional and technical occupations’ such as dancers, choreographers, fitness instructors, youth and community workers, despite the ONS stating that these jobs ‘do not require a degree’.

The findings call into question the current balance between the Government’s investment in university education relative to the investment in the UK’s under-funded vocational and adult skills education pathways.

The report also shows that the continued focus on boosting graduate qualification rates in the UK appears to have had little effect on productivity, with the UK languishing in sixteenth place in GDP per hour among OECD countries, despite having the fifth highest proportion of residents educated to degree level.

Lizzie Crowley, skills adviser at the CIPD, said, “As we look ahead to the Budget next week, the Government should consider linking tuition fees to graduate destination data in order to prevent higher education institutions charging top rate fees while delivering bottom rate outcomes.

“This report shows that the preoccupation of successive governments with boosting graduate numbers is leading to high levels of over-qualification and potentially skills mismatches, which the OECD suggests undermines productivity growth. Many people in ‘graduate jobs’ are actually in roles that don’t require degrees, and with the spiralling costs of university students need to ask themselves whether a degree path is the best route into their career.

“We need much better careers advice and guidance to ensure that young people are equipped with the information they need to make informed decisions, alongside high quality alternative vocational routes into employment that offer routes other than university education.”

The research also finds a clear gender pay disparity for recent graduates, even if they study the same course at a top ten university.

The findings were consistent across subject area, with male graduates enjoying a higher salary regardless of the areas of study looked at in the research. The research showed that, six months after graduation:

  • More than a quarter (28%) of male law graduates were earning £30k+, compared with just over one in ten (14%) female law graduates
  • Nearly three-quarters (71%) of male medicine and dentistry graduates were earning £30k+, compared to three in five (62%) female graduates
  • More than half (54%) male veterinary sciences graduates were earning £30k+, compared with just two in five (39%) female graduates
  • Female graduates who managed to secure a job in the top occupational band (managers and senior officials) were almost twice as likely to be paid less than £20,000 as their male counterparts, with 25% of women in this category compared with 15% of men

Crowley added, “It has long been claimed that the differential in pay between male and female graduates was to do with their chosen subjects of study, but this data proves that the gender pay gap is baked in from the point of graduation. Regardless of what women study, or indeed where they study, they are paid less than their male peers.

“If we are going to eliminate the gender pay gap then employers need to ensure they are paying fairly right across their organisation from day one, including among recent graduates.”

Finally, the research also reveals that, despite a strong government focus on boosting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, STEM graduates are more likely to be unemployed six months after graduation than graduates from other disciplines. Compared to a national unemployment rate of 4.9%, STEM graduate unemployment rates are:

  • 8.6%% for computer science graduates
  • 6.5% for physical science graduates
  • 6% for engineering and technology graduates
  • 6.5% for mathematical science graduates

Crowley said, “The Government has continually focused on boosting STEM skills, and encouraging graduates to pursue those subjects at university, but that investment doesn’t appear to be translating into better graduate outcomes.

“Until we address this problem, and do more to identify the core skills that make STEM subjects so valuable, additional investment in STEM risks being wasted.”

Commenting on the CIPD report, Dr David Docherty, CEO of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), and Chairman of Placer, said, “Employers are crying out for graduates with vital science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. Therefore, it’s worrying to see that despite an increased focus on STEM education, many graduates in this area are still unemployed six months after graduating.

“It is vital we urgently improve the employability skills of all graduates, particularly those in STEM, to support young people as they move from education into the workplace. One critical part of the solution is improved access to quality work experience for undergraduates so that talented students can enter the labour market more quickly.

“Recognising a significant gap between the availability of work experience opportunities and the number of students in the UK, we’ve developed new technology for employers and students, as a practical step to tackle the issue. Placer, a work experience app and platform developed in partnership with Jisc and Unite Students, offers a structured and scalable solution to ensure the next generation of talent is workplace-ready.”

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Almost 80% of graduate recruiters consider work experience one of the most important factors on a graduate CV, ahead of degree level, the relevancy of the course, or the standard of university.

According to recent research by Pareto, 77% of graduate recruiters place work experience as one of the most important factors on graduate job applications, with just two in five considering the level of the degree into recruitment decisions and only 7% factoring in the standard of university.

Only a demonstrable skill set (87%) was more sought-after than work experience, with evidence of communication, problem-solving and leadership being the most desired by recruiters.

Aspects recruiters would be happy to compromise on included any evidence of travelling or information on sports club memberships and societies, despite their potential to demonstrate desirable skills such as initiative (sought by 38% of recruiters) or leadership (41%) respectively.

The research also revealed that 47% of recruiters will skip straight to the work experience section of a candidate’s CV or application. Only a quarter (27%) would first look at the education section, and despite looking for applicants to demonstrate a certain set of skills, only one in ten recruiters would look there first.

Suzie Berry, head of candidate experience at Pareto, said, “While the emphasis placed on work experience clearly outweighs that of any other aspect of a graduate job application, the opportunity to develop skills that translate to the workplace through education, training and other extra-curricular endeavours should not be dismissed.”

When asked to give candidates one piece of advice when applying for graduate jobs, 80% mentioned the word ‘experience’. The opportunities for students, however, are not necessarily available. In 2016, the top 100 biggest recruiters of graduates offered over 14,000 work experience places among them, which equates to less than one place for every 30 students in UK.

Berry added, “Work experience is clearly a ‘must-have’ for most graduate recruiters, as it shows a familiarity with the workplace and a drive to seek experience outside of a candidate’s university studies. But when work placements and opportunities are at such a premium, there has to be an allowance that some candidates have lesser access to the experience employers are seeking.”

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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