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Graduates: Employment

Volume 463: debated on Monday 1 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the average time taken for a university graduate to find employment following graduation has been in each of the last 10 years; and what the average starting salary of a university graduate was in each such year. (155578)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The latest available data are taken from the Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) Survey which has been published annually by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) for the past four years.

The DLHE Survey captures the first destinations of graduates, six months after leaving university. The most recent information available is for those who graduated in 2005/06 who were surveyed in early 2007. Figures are given in the table.

UK and EU domiciled full time first degree graduates by first destination six months after qualifying, academic years 2002/03 to 2005/06

Academic year

Percentage of leavers in employment

Percentage of leavers in employment and further study

Percentage of leavers in further study

Percentage of leavers assumed unemployed

Percentage of leaver in other1 destinations

2002/03

63

8

16

7

6

2003/04

63

9

16

7

5

2004/05

63

8

16

7

6

2005/06

63

8

16

6

7

1 Includes those students who are not available for, or not looking for, employment.

Source:

HESA Destination of Leavers in Higher Education Survey

In the longer term, studies have shown that graduate unemployment decreases over time and that four years after graduating, unemployment rates have fallen to 2-3 per cent. (3 per cent. for men and 2 per cent. for women), and 90 per cent. are in employment.

The Labour Force Survey shows that holders of HE qualifications are more than half as likely to be unemployed as non-graduates, at 2.8 per cent. and 6.5 per cent. respectively.

The available information on average starting salaries, for those in employment six months after qualifying, are given in the table.

Average starting salaries of UK and EU domiciled first degree graduates 1 in full time employment, academic years 2002/03 to 2005/06

Academic year

Average starting salary2 (£)

2002/03

17,000

2003/04

18,000

2004/05

19,000

2005/06

19,000

1 from both full and part time modes of study

2 figures rounded to the nearest thousand

Source:

HESA Destination of Leavers in Higher Education Survey