After 18 months of turbulence, job prospects for graduates are brighter with 21 per cent of employers saying they will recruit more graduates as the economy continues to recover this year. (The Australian - March 3)
Pre-financial crisis fears of an economy-wide cull of graduate recruitment programmes in 2009 were not realised. The GFC definitely had an adverse impact on the graduate recruitment, due to some companies either reducing the scale of their activities or cancelling them altogether.
Hardest hit - but the first to recover - were graduates with construction, mining and engineering qualifications, where almost 40 per cent of employers cut graduate intakes. Also hard hit - but again with skills in demand - were those with accounting and finance qualifications, where almost 37 per cent of employers cut intakes. Over a third of employers in the legal and professional services fields cut intakes, as did 28 per cent of manufacturers. The contraction in the graduate labour market over the period was especially felt among the overseas students graduating from Australian universities. The proportion of employers who recruited international graduates fell from a record high of over 35 per cent pre-GFC in 2008, to just 20.5 per cent last year.
Despite the cuts to graduate recruitment programmes overall, the latest figures provide further evidence that graduates with Australian degrees were less affected by downturns. Over 85 per cent of Bachelor's degree graduates have secured a full-time job four months after finishing their courses in 2008, compared with 79 per cent last year. Resource engineering and earth science graduates - or those involved in mining and oil and gas extraction - were in highest demand for the second year running.
In a longstanding trend, communication and problem-solving skills were the attributes most prized by employers, a survey has found.
This time the Australian government will fully overhaul the skilled migration system, with an aim to attract the best in skills Australia badly needs to forge ahead as a developed country. The prospects for young graduates from Australian universities would be far higher under the new system. Edlocate represents 14 Australian universities directly, the latest to be added to its mix being, the popular Deakin university of Victoria. Students keen to follow tertiary studies overseas, will do well to meet with experienced, educated and well understanding counsellors at Edlocate and make use of their complimentary services.