Nearly three quarters of graduate recruiters to hire as planned after Brexit, survey reveals

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By: Elizabeth Toner

Nearly three quarters (73%) of graduate recruiters continue to hire as planned after Brexit, marking good news for this year’s graduates, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

AGR surveyed some of the UK’s biggest student employers about how the EU referendum had impacted their recruitment plans for 2016 and 2017.

The company says the picture looks relatively positive for 2016 graduates with the majority of recruiters reporting business as usual. Just 5% will reduce their graduate intake and 2% will increase hires while 19% said they did not know at this stage.

The availability of apprenticeships for 2016 is less clear. Just over half of respondents said they would maintain their apprenticeship opportunities, 8% said they would increase and 3% said they would fall. A third of recruiters said they did not know at this stage.

Graduate and apprentice recruitment plans for 2017 are uncertain with 64% of respondents reporting that it was too early to indicate the impact. The survey revealed that one in five, however, said they would recruit at similar levels to 2016, 7% plan to increase their hires and 6% expect to reduce their hires.

Stephen Isherwood, chief executive at the AGR, said, “We know the graduate jobs marked rises and falls with the economy. After Brexit there’s a lot of uncertainty, particularly around apprenticeships which is likely to be related to the levy. But for many employers this has not appeared to reduce their desire to attract and retain the best student talent. We urge students to stay focused, remain positive and seek university careers advice for guidance on making the most of your skills and ability to be a great candidate. We will review 2017 hiring plans in the autumn, which be more indicative of the longer-term effects of Brexit.”