What do graduates do?

Thursday, October 31, 2019

So graduates all end up in London as part of a UK-wide graduate recruitment market... err well no they don't actually.

Like many other large cities, Cardiff is a graduate magnet - attracting 2,115 of the 2016-17 UK cohort to work in the city. And whilst London does attract more graduates, there is certainly nothing like the simple UK-wide graduate labour market that people still think there is.

Graduates are much more local in their decision making - with many both studying and working in the areas they grew up in. Even if they leave to study, many return to work. Four-fifths of those working in Wales were originally from the country.

The report shows in 2016/17:

  • 7,960 UK-domiciled graduates were employed in Wales within six months of graduation, which amounts to 4.4% of graduates working in the UK. 
  • The majority of graduates working in Wales had studied at a Welsh higher education provider (72.4%). 
  • Graduates migrating to Wales tended to come from regions close to the Welsh border such as the South West (5.3%) and the North West (3.3%).
  • Graduates in Wales tend to gravitate towards larger cities, predominantly in the south. The most popular locations include Cardiff (26.8%), Swansea (8%) and Newport (9.8%).  
  • Opportunities for professional-level employment don’t appear to be as widespread in Wales, as 67.1% entered roles at this level. This figure is lower than the UK average for graduates (73.9%). 
  • Job prospects in Wales appear to be improving slightly, with a 3.8% increase in the number of graduates in professional level jobs since 2015/16. Those domiciled in south Wales were slightly more likely to obtain professional-level employment than elsewhere. 
  • 71% of employers in Wales stated that bilingual skills are desirable for jobs in their companies, it could be beneficial for those seeking work in Wales to develop a basic understanding of the language to strengthen their applications.  Skills-shortage vacancies had a lack of written Welsh language skills (17%) and oral Welsh skills (16%).
  • Graduates in Wales receive the lowest average starting salary compared with all other regions in the UK. The average salary for all graduates working in Wales was £20,600, which is £1,799 below the national average.
  • In the north, south west and mid-Wales, predicted growth industries include energy and environment, manufacturing, construction and the creative industries. Tourism in the north is also predicted to be an expanding industry. Regions situated in the south east are expected to experience growth in construction, health and social work, finance and IT.


This desire for graduates to work where they grew up is part of the rationale for GradWales.com - our aim is to make it easier for those graduates wanting to work in Wales to find graduate level employment in the country.




For the full report, and references please see: https://luminate.prospects.ac.uk/what-do-graduates-do-regional-edition