Is over-supply of graduates threatening apprenticeship roles?

Britain’s graduates are being forced to work in low-paid, low-skilled jobs, with the number of graduates outstripping the creation of highly-skilled jobs, finds the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

In the CIPD’s latest report, entitled Over qualification and skills mismatch in the graduate labour market, the industry body has found that 58.8 per cent of UK graduates are working in roles that are better suited for non-graduates.

This is becoming a substantial problem within the United Kingdom, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranking Britain third for having graduates in non-graduate roles. Only Greece and Estonia placed higher than the UK.

According to the report, employers that are looking to fill a vacancy are more likely to hire a graduate that applies for the role, rather than a non-graduate, despite them being perfectly capable of doing the job.

This problem has had a severe impact upon apprenticeships. There are a number of occupations that are reporting a decline in the number of apprentices that they are hiring, including IT technicians, tax consultancy and within the education sector.

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Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said: “The assumption that we will transition to a more productive, higher value, higher skilled economy just by increasing the conveyor belt of graduates is proven to be flawed.’’

‘‘This situation is unsustainable given that the Government estimates that 45% of university graduates will not earn enough to repay their student loans.’’

‘‘It’s crucial we as a nation take stock now of whether our higher education system is delivering desired returns for graduates, for organisations, and society.’’