Work experience is the key to gaining a job after graduation, says study

A new study has found that there will be more graduate jobs on offer in 2013 but those with little or no work experience will struggle to land one.

The study, which was conducted by High Fliers Research, shows that nearly half of employers are planning to hire more graduates this year and another third are keeping their recruitment levels roughly the same as last year.

That means that the total number of graduate vacancies available is forecast to increase by 2.7% in year-on-year terms, which is encouraging given that slightly fewer were taken on last year than expected.

Retailers, engineering companies, industrial firms and the public sector are set to experience the most growth and Teach First, which places top graduates in schools in disadvantaged areas, is predicted to be the number one recruiter with a total of 1,260 jobs.

Despite the increased supply of jobs in the graduate employment market, the competition will still be fierce, and the report suggests that students who have not participated in internships or work placements - or had work experience - will struggle to find work in some cases.

The research, which is based on a poll of 100 top graduate employers in the UK, discovered that as many as 36% of entry-level jobs will probably go to students who have already worked for the firm in question.

Law and banking are the sectors where experience is particularly important and City investment banks even expect three quarters of the jobs they advertise to be taken by those who have previously done work experience with them this year.

The major law firms anticipate that the percentage will be nearer half so, while graduate job prospects are improving, over half of the employers warned that people with no work experience on their CV stand little chance of landing a top job in the near future.

Copyright Press Association 2013