Graduate opportunities increase in some sectors amid predicted reduction of 4% in jobs available to university leavers

The average number of applications for graduate vacancies has increased amid a predicted reduction in the number of available positions, a new report has found.

And certain sectors are showing an increase in the number of posts available to university leavers.

Consulting and businesses services firms have shown a 36.3% increase in graduate vacancies in 2012/13 compared to 2011/12, while openings at energy, water and utility companies have been boosted by 30.8%.

Former students aiming for a career in IT and telecommunications have also found the number of positions upped by 14.6%.

The report by the Association of Graduate Recruiters, which represents organisations that recruit and employ university leavers, questioned more than 200 leading employers of graduates.

It revealed a high level of interest in vacancies offered to university leavers, with an average of 85.3 applications for every expected opening. There was an average of 73 applications per job in the previous recruitment year.

Companies specialising in low-cost, fast-moving consumer goods such as toiletries and groceries are seeing the highest levels of demand, with an average of 211 applications for every job advertised.

Positions with investment banks or fund managers and in retail are also proving to be highly sought after. On average these industries are receiving 135.3 and 130.2 applications respectively for each vacancy.

Meanwhile, more jobs are opening up in certain areas of the country outside of London, the report suggests. There has been an increase in expected vacancies available to graduates in the south-east, the West Midlands and Scotland.

However, the annual summer survey also predicts an overall reduction of 4% in the number of positions available to graduates, resulting in even greater competition for jobs than the already high levels of demand observed.

The banking and financial services industries, for example, are offering fewer jobs to new graduates, with opportunities dropping by 45% in the past year.

Copyright Press Association 2013