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ISE blog

The 12 student employment stats of Christmas

 December 17, 2018

Tristram Hooley: the 12 student employment stats of 2018

We spend 365 days a year thinking about student recruitment, but obviously there are some special times of the year when you might be tempted to put thoughts of student recruitment and development to one side. To help you get through the festive season, ISE Chief Research Officer Tristram Hooley has compiled the 12 most exciting stats from our research this year. 

 

1. 16% increase in recruitment.

2018 was a good year for student recruitment. Employers reported an increase of 16% more hires on last year. Our members have particularly been increasing the number of apprentices that they are recruiting, with this figure going up by 50%.

 

2. 15% of the apprenticeship levy is being spent.

Despite the growth in apprenticeships employers told us that they were still only spending an average of 15% of their apprenticeship levy money. This points to some problems with the levy, but also suggests that the number of apprentices might continue to grow in the future. 

 

3. 77% of employers changing their recruitment approach.

The diversity of the hires that employers are bringing into their businesses was an important area of concern for most employers. More than three-quarters of the employers who responded to our survey reported that they were changing the way that they attract student hires to try and improve their diversity. 

 

4. 97% of employers are using printed publications to attract students.

Despite the hype about all of us living in the digital age, almost all employers reported that they are still using print media as part of their recruitment strategy. 

 

5. 56% of internships in London and the South East.

Summer internships give students real advantages when it comes to finding permanent jobs. But 56% of internships are located in London and the South East, which raises some concerns about whether this opportunity is really open to all students. 

 

6. 81% of graduate job offers are made by Easter.

Graduate recruitment operates on a very predictable cycle. This means that if students haven’t got a job by Easter they are likely to find that some of the best opportunities will have been taken. 

 

7. 41 applications for every graduate job.

Getting a graduate job is very competitive. Employers receive an average of 41 applications for every job. Apprenticeships are less competitive but still receive an average of 25 applications for every opportunity. 

 

8. 19% of employers don’t set minimum entry requirements.

A growing number of employers have stopped using educational qualifications to filter their applicants. An increasing number are using their own tests to decide who to hire and ignoring the qualifications that universities and schools award.  

 

9. 89% of employers use assessment centres.

Half-day or one-day assessment centres were used by almost all employers to find the candidates that they need.  

 

10. £4,537 spent to develop every graduate.

Once employers have hired a new employee, they continue to help them develop. Employers spend an average of £4,537 on the development of every graduate they hire. 

 

11. 85% of employers concerned about mental health.

There is some concern about the mental well-being of student hires. With 85% of employers saying that they view this issue as a priority. 

 

12. 26% of graduates leave within three years.

And yet, despite all of this work on student recruitment and development, a quarter of graduates leave their first employer within three years of being hired. 


This year we produced reports on student development, improving partnerships and working with suppliers, internships and recruitment. This blog offers just a flavour of some of the insights that came out of this research. 

ISE members can find out more about all of these facts by downloading the research reports from our Knowledge section. Reports are available to non-members for a fee.