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Graduates (Unemployment)

Volume 19: debated on Monday 1 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many of those who graduated in 1981 were still unemployed by the end of that year, in number and percentage terms; and what are the comparable figures for each of the previous five years and if he can break the figures down to show the position for engineering and arts, languages and pure science graduates.

[pursuant to his reply, 18 February 1982, c. 187]: There is no exact record of the number of graduates who are unemployed at the end of the year in which they take their degree. The official unemployment figures do not record whether an unemployed person is a graduate. The estimates that are available come from surveys of the first destinations of each year's new graduates.These surveys are conducted by graduate careers advisory services at each university in the United Kingdom and each polytechnic in England and Wales. The results from each institution are collated and published as separate totals for all universities and all polytechnics. This system gives a record of first destinations for some 90 per cent. of university graduates and 80 per cent. of polytechnic graduates. The latest available figures are for 1980; results for 1981 will not be available until later this year.

Unemployment of New First Degree Graduates of United Kingdom Universities
Men and Women
Number unemployed at end of yearUnemployed as a percentage of all graduates of known destination
1. Education27304229775·14·03·92·56·2
2. Medicine, dentistry, health30363447440·70·70·70·90·8
3. Engineering and technology2792591591924213·93·52·02·34·8
4. Agriculture, forestry, veterinary service485551491015·85·75·24·58·4
5. Science9589037167221,3637·47·15·45·49·8
6. Social, administrative and business studies9208878168701,5206·96·25·45·69·4
7. Architecture, other professional and vocational subjects49333020615·94·13·12·26·4
8. Language, literature and other studies4884604275308757·56·75·97·111·3
9. Arts other than languages3694003944266586·97·36·87·211·6
Source: First Destinations of University Graduates, annual volumes, published by Universities Statistical Record.
Table 2
Unemployment of new, full-time and sandwich, First degree graduates of Polytechnics Men and Women
Number unemployed at end of yearUnemployed as a percentage of all graduates of known destinations
1 Education4695829914510·310·25·34·58·5
2 Health774382·42·21·00·82·0
3 Engineering877264641734·23·42·82·66·6
4 Science16715213518828611·19·98·49·913·4
5 Social studies32032030831253610·79·38·07·311·9
6 Vocational studies6152364714310·67·14·04·812·6
7 Language studies353955495510·010·712·012·714·0
8 Arts3425279915414·612·115·112·319·3
9 Music, drama and visual arts13618518423331913·614·212914·718·7

Source: First Destinations of Polytechnic Students, annual volumes, published by the Committee of Directors of Polytechnics.

Notes on tables:

  • (i) It is possible to combine the figures from the universities and polytechnics but this does then conceal differences between them e.g. subject composition.
  • (ii) The results do not cover all of each year's graduates they exclude graduates of other institutions such as colleges of higher education, part-time students and post-gradutes. In case, information in the form requested is not available.