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Australia – Graduates recruitment is the lowest since records began

19 March 2014

University graduates continue to struggle securing employment according to data from Graduate Careers Australia that revealed that nearly a fifth of employers who normally recruit graduates did not recruit any last year, reports afr.com.

According to the data the ­proportion of employers not recruiting new graduates was the highest since it began collecting this data in 2005. Over 60% of the 484 employers in the survey said either economic or budgetary conditions were the key issues affecting their graduate hiring in 2013.

However, the poor quality of graduates is also a significant problem with ne­arly one fifth of employers saying the “quality,­­ ­experience and skill of the graduate” was the key issue affecting their hiring.

Given the sharp decline in information technology (IT) ­graduates in recent years, nearly 30% of employers said graduates with IT qualifications were the most difficult to source.

The next most difficult graduate qualification for employers to find was business and economics, with 26% of employers saying they had ­trouble sourcing qualified people in this area.

The proportion of employers who recruited international graduates fell to 19% last year, down from 23% in 2012 and 31% in 2011.

Noel Edge, executive director of Graduate Careers Australia, commented: “These new findings suggest the recruiters of graduates remain cautious in their hiring plans.”

Notwithstanding that, he said the long-term outlook for university ­graduates remained bright.

“Our research has consistently shown that graduates experience strong growth in employment rates in the first few years after the completion of their studies.

The most sought after graduate candidates attributes were:

  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Passion, knowledge of industry, drive, commitment and ­attitude
  • Critical reasoning and analytical skills, problem solving, lateral thinking and technical skills
  • Calibre of academic results

Dr. Edge concluded: “While technical expertise is important, graduates wielding strong communication skills will have greater employment prospects.”

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