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Graduate employment level across England at its highest since 2007

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That said, it’s still not quite enough to top the 88.3 per cent peak experienced from eight years ago.

The latest Graduate Labour Market Statistics report covers Q1 2015 found that working-age graduates and postgraduates between 16 and 64 years old have higher rates of employment than non-graduates, at 87.5 per cent versus 69.3 per cent. Graduates are also more likely to work in high skill jobs.

Change could be on the way, however, helped by professional services firm PwC revising its A-Level requirements in May.

“As a progressive employer we recognise that talent and potential presents itself in different ways and at different stages in people’s lives,” said Gaenor Bagley, board member and head of people at PwC. “Removing the UCAS criteria will create a fairer and more modern system in which students are selected on their own merit, irrespective of their background or where they are from.

“By breaking down social barriers we will open the door to thousands of students who may have previously thought a graduate role with PwC was out of reach for them.”

On a year-on-year basis, the study showed that unemployment fell by one per cent among young graduates aged 21-30 to 3.9 per cent – the lowest since 3.5 per cent in Q1 2007.

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Meanwhile, the average working-age graduate salary has declined by £500 to £31,000, although that’s significantly higher than £22,000 for non-graduates, but lower than postgraduate earnings which grew by £1,000 to £39,000.

For young graduates, the report revealed an average salary of £24,000 followed by £17,000 for young non-graduates. Young postgraduates still lead the way though, as the gap between them and young graduates widened to £4,000 from £2,000 year-on-year.

Of course, university isn’t a path everyone is going to take. Recognising that, the government was behind a large push for alternatives with National Apprenticeship Week in March. It saw British businesses including Halfords and British Airways promise to deliver 23,000 apprenticeships across the UK.

Image: Shutterstock

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