The number of graduates hired in 2014-15 increased by 13.2% and the average starting salary rose by £1,000, according to the latest figures from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR). However, despite the fact that women make up almost 60% of all graduates, only 42% of graduate hires are women. In fact, the overall proportion of women graduates recruited has not increased in the past five years, even though 63% of employers have a strategy to improve gender balance in the workforce.
Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the AGR, said:
‘Gender diversity is an issue which requires more of our attention. Although our data cannot explain why women aren’t securing more graduate placements, it indicates there is more to be done to attract female graduates who in turn need to make the most of the opportunities available.’
Average graduate salaries stand at £28,000, with a median of £35,000. Internships are expanding – the average pay for an intern rose 3.3% to £317 a week, and 44% of interns go on to secure graduate positions in the same company. The three sectors with the largest share of internships are the law, accounting and professional services firms and banking and financial services. Sectors with the largest growth in graduate vacancies are accounting and professional services, the public sector and engineering and industrial firms.