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Graduates employment prospects at their bleakest since 1994

Graduates are waiting the longest time to find full-time employment since 1994, a new report from Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) has found.

The survey, conducted on over 100,000 former university students, revealed that in 2010, 24 percent of bachelor degree graduates were still looking for full-time positions within four months of completing their courses. Only 76.2 percent found work in this period, a decrease from 85.2 percent in 2008 and the lowest figures since 1994.

According to GCA Research Manager Bruce Guthrie, the Global Financial Crisis originally affected this slump in employment prospects. Now, with continued labour market uncertainty, recruiters maintain conservative graduate intakes.

The study also found:

  • Indigenous graduates are more likely to secure full-time work faster, with 80.3 percent finding jobs within four months compared to the average 76.2 percent.
  • Only 60 percent of graduates from a non-English speaking background gained full-time work.
  • Only 66.3 percent of graduates with disabilities found full time employment.

Guthrie advises students graduating in 2012 begin their job searches now, because competition is getting stronger.

“We are now into the recruitment season for final year students and it seems that activity might be up a little this year, which suggests that graduate employment figures could show an improvement,” he said.

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