UK graduate job vacancies 'outnumber roles not needing qualifications'

There are now more UK graduate jobs than there are roles that do not require qualifications, according to a new report.

The number of jobs available only to graduates has reached an all-time high as it now applies to more than one in four posts, a study by the Institute of Education revealed.

It is suggested in the study that the number of jobs in the UK available to people without any qualifications is quickly diminishing as an increasing number of recruiters are looking for skilled staff.

The report - called Skills at Work in Britain - found the proportion of jobs requiring a degree rose from 20% in 2006 to 26% last year.

Jobs not requiring any qualification at all accounted for 28% of the market in 2006 but the figure for 2012 was down to 23%.

Professor Francis Green of the Institute of Education said there has been a delay on the part of employers in taking advantage of the larger pool of well-qualified workers but they are now starting to realise the benefits.

Students may also find encouragement from the study as it suggests that more graduates are now being placed in specific graduate jobs, with a falling number finding themselves over-qualified for their role.

"Although mismatches remain quite high, this turnaround may signal more effective use of qualifications at work by employers," the report said.

It found the so-called graduate over-qualification rate declined from 28% to 22% between 2006 and 2012, although there was a marginal rise from 3% to 4% over the same period in graduate unemployment.

The overall outcome of those trends, according to the report, is that the proportion of graduates working in graduate jobs increased from 69% to 74%.

Meanwhile a separate study called Training in Britain has suggested there has been a decline in training over recent years, with the proportion of workers engaged in more than 10 hours' training a year falling from 38% in 2006 to 34% in 2012.

This decline in training was most keenly seen among female workers, the study showed.

Professor Alan Felstead, of the Cardiff School of Social Sciences and a member of the research team, said the study's best estimate suggests there was a fall of just under a third (32%) in the average number of training hours undertaken per worker per year.

Copyright Press Association 2013