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Graduate salary drops behind employee average

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The average starting salary for graduates now stands at £21,000, an increase of 2.4 per cent over the year – compared to an overall rise of 3 per cent across all employee groups.

The research by IRS Employment Review also reveals that four out of ten employers targeting recent graduates have experienced recruitment problems this year.

This slowdown follows a long-term trend for graduate salaries to rise at a faster rate than wages in the economy as a whole.

Of the organisations that target graduates, 89 per cent had reviewed their policies and procedures in advance of the age discrimination regulations but only 49 per cent had modified them.

Virtually none of the organisations contacted by IRS believes the regulations will have a major impact on graduate recruitment and development in the long term and 27 per cent said it would have no impact at all.

Commenting on the findings, Neil Rankin, recruitment and retention editor for IRS Employment Review, said: “Graduate recruitment has survived the economic turbulence of recent years, demand is up and the age discrimination regulations seem to have been revealed as a paper tiger, at least in the eyes of graduate recruiters themselves.

“Unless there is a serious economic shock during the coming months, graduate recruitment looks set for a relatively uneventful season – that is, if recruiters’ sanguine attitude towards the new anti-ageism legislation turns out to be well-founded.”

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