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Sunday 04th of July 2010
July 2, 2010    

Graduates face uncertain future

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by Kay Murchie

Proposed cuts to public spending could see Graduate unemployment surge to record levels, according to the Higher Education Careers Service (HECSU).

The HECSU said Graduates will be badly affected by the cuts since so many of them are recruited in the public sector.

The body said if a fifth of the 39,000 graduates joining the public sector every year lost their jobs - graduate unemployment would double.

More than half a million public sector jobs are forecast to be lost in the next five years.

Charlie Ball, HECSU’s deputy research director, comments: “There are around 39,000 ‘non-frontline’ public sector jobs taken by UK-domiciled graduates annually. I don’t expect them all to be lost, but they don’t need to be to have a significant impact.

“Even if only a fifth of them were to go and not be replaced, then that would more than double graduate unemployment for the cohort affected in one fell swoop. That would put graduate unemployment over 20 per cent and pushing towards 25 per cent,” added Mr Ball.

According to Mr Ball, Wales and the North East of England are areas where one in four graduates is recruited into the public sector - many in the NHS and higher education.

In last week’s emergency budget, Chancellor George Osborne said unprotected Government departments would face an average real cut of around 25% in a four-year period.

The highest graduate unemployment rate seen in the UK was in 1983, at 13.5%.

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