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New data reveals jobs for UK graduates are on the up

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UK Job Market Looking Up for Graduates @LinkedIn 

  • LinkedIn data shows UK labour market showing signs of optimism for entry-level roles 
  • Tech roles and sector offer most opportunities 
  • Soft skills like communication and problem solving are in high demand 
  • Growth in remote roles and online networking as graduates adapt to pandemic 
  • Employers encouraged to look at skills over direct experience to help overcome unemployment scarring 

The labour market for graduates in the UK is showing clear signs of improving, finds new data from LinkedIn. The data will come as welcome news as ONS data shows that people under the age of 25 have been hardest hit by the pandemic’s impact on the labour market. 

Last July, LinkedIn saw that hiring fell 23% for graduates but as the UK economy starts to reopen and the vaccine programme rolls out, there are clear signs that hiring of UK graduates is on its way to recovering to pre-COVID hiring rates.  

Janine Chamberlin, UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, said:

 “It’s really great news that we’re starting to see more graduates find jobs and get hired. We’re seeing particular growth in technology and digital roles, and that companies are looking for people with strong communication and problem solving skills. But it’s no exaggeration to say this generation of young people have started their careers in the most difficult labour market in recent memory.

“We have to help them into work if we’re going to avoid the long-term economic scarring that we saw after the 2008-2009 recession. As companies start to open up entry-level positions, they must look beyond the gaps in experience and consider people based on the skills they have developed and their future potential.”     

To help people looking for new positions, LinkedIn has today published a new ‘Get Hired’ report that offers insights on labour market trends, including which jobs and skills are most in demand from employers. Today’s report focuses on graduate and entry-level positions and shows that technology and digital-focused roles dominate the fastest-growing jobs, and that soft skills like communication and problem solving are in high demand. 

Fastest-Growing Jobs  

  1. Digital Marketing Specialist 
  2. Graphic Designer 
  3. Web Designer 
  4. Web Developer 
  5. Mobile Application Developer 
  6. Cloud Engineer 
  7. Healthcare Assistant 
  8. Electrician 
  9. Social Services Assistant 

Top 10 Industries Hiring Entry-Level Positions 

  1. Software & IT Services 
  2. Finance 
  3. Manufacturing 
  4. Healthcare 
  5. Construction 
  6. Media & Communications 
  7. Corporate Services 
  8. Consumer Goods 
  9. Retail 
  10. Energy & Mining 

Top 5 In-Demand Soft Skills  

  1. Communication 
  2. Analytical skills 
  3. Customer service 
  4. Design 
  5. Problem solving 

Nicholas Bird, who is graduating in Economics from Bournemouth University, said:

 “A year ago, it was looking pretty dire for students planning to join the workforce. But as lockdown has started to ease, it’s been great to see more entry-level roles and grad schemes become available across different sectors. In the last few months I’ve enjoyed being able to speak to more recruiters and potential employers over video, which has been really easy and convenient. I think remote interviews and remote work will also help to level the playing field for graduates that are unable to take low-paying roles or internships in expensive cities.”  

Esther Odejimi-Uzokwe, Programme Director, 10,000 Black Interns Foundation, said: 

Now more than ever, young people are facing incredibly unique challenges in the job market. The effects of the global pandemic have meant that not only are we seeing an increased number of entry-level candidates competing for less available roles, but we are also witnessing the growth of an increasingly virtual job-market that requires an adapted approach from both firms and candidates. Access to the internet, availability of ‘office space’ within the home, as well as reduced face-to-face interaction, which often facilitates career progression and relationship development with colleagues are all huge factors in need of consideration from firms onboarding their entry-level candidates virtually.” 

Alison Wilcox, Group HR Director, BT Group said:

 “BT is at the heart of the UK’s digital economy and as a leading employer of apprentices and graduates we offer unparalleled development opportunities. Despite the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve continued to recruit and attract brilliant people from all walks of life into our business, and we value the diverse perspectives they bring. Roles available this year vary from engineering and customer service through to applied research, and cyber-security across a number of locations including; Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Ipswich, London and Manchester. We look forward to welcoming the 2021 newcomers.” 

New graduates grapple with remote working and online networking 

The percentage of entry-level remote jobs posted in the UK has increased significantly since the pandemic. 10% of entry-level roles posted between January 1st – March 31st 2021 were remote, compared to just 0.6% in January 1st – March 31st 2020. As the number of remote roles has seen major growth, employers have to carefully consider how to onboard people who are starting their careers and find ways to help build workplace skills and foster company culture remotely. 

The 2020 graduating class also built virtual communities at a faster rate, as lockdowns limited opportunities to meet in-person. There was a 31% increase in the rate at which LinkedIn connections were formed by the 2020 graduating class compared to the class of 2019.  

Support for graduates and career starters 

Graduates who are looking for more resources to help them to find a role, including how they can build new skills for free and prepare for interviews, can learn more at: opportunity.linkedin.com.  

This includes free LinkedIn Learning courses to help build their customer service and soft skills, as well as build skills for careers in fast-growing roles like digital marketingsoftware development and design.  LinkedIn has also partnered with #10000 Black Interns to help more young people develop the skills they need to get hired.   

LinkedIn is also hosting a free careers event ‘The Jobs Shed’ in London on 15th-16th June, to help individuals find new jobs and progress their career. 


Fast forward for digital jobs

8th June 2021: Public First worked with techUK on a new report published today (8 Jun), “Fast Forward for Digital Jobs“, which looks at how Government and Industry working together can equip the UK population with the rights skills to take advantage of the 3 million tech jobs projected to be created in the next five years. The report, details how we together we can begin closing the digital skills gap.

A Taskforce made up of leading technology businesses – AWS, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Salesforce, FDM, UKFast and BT, came together under the umbrella of techUK, the UK’s leading tech trade association, to make recommendations on how best to match those displaced by the pandemic or looking to switch careers with the array of technology roles that are being created right across the UK economy.

While the recommendations are particularly pressing at this point in time as the country recovers from the economic impacts of the pandemic, the pace of digitisation shows no signs of slowing down with continued automation and innovation making routes to reskilling and retraining critical.

The report calls on Government to work with industry to open up new and flexible pathways for people to train and reskill as well as ensuring employers large and small are incentivised and supported to invest in training for their own workforces.

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