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Brexit fears double for new graduates, large numbers face uncertain future

Latest research insights1 from Magnet.me, the website which connects students with graduate employers, reveals the views of the graduating students in 2017 on job prospects, Brexit and the 2017 UK General Election.

  • Jobs: only one in nine 2017 graduates have a job secured
  • Election: students fear Conservative ‘landslide victory’ in job pursuit.
  • Tuition fees: a third feel promises of ‘abolishing tuition fees’ will become reality

Latest research insights1 from Magnet.me, the website which connects students with graduate employers, reveals the views of the graduating students in 2017 on job prospects, Brexit and the 2017 UK General Election.

Brexit fears have doubled in the minds of 2017 graduates since the start of year. When polled in January a third (35.5%) flagged Brexit as the greatest concern in securing employment, this is now up to almost two-thirds (64.9%).

More than half (54.4%) of students expected to graduate this year have little to no idea of what they will be doing in in the next 6 months, with the majority (57.1%) ‘considering’ or ‘very likely’ to join the gig economy.

Only a fifth (19.3%) of students indicated they know exactly what they will be doing in the coming months, with most (59.7%) entering working life.

Whilst a vast majority of the new crop of graduates are uncertain about their immediate future, 7 out 10 (71. 4%) felt that they would be more optimistic about securing a job in 2017 if the Labour party came into power. Only 16.1% polled felt a Conservative party government would be an encouraging sign for their job prospects.

The issue of immigration has dominated the Brexit debate, but the majority of 2017 graduates (53.6%) remain indifferent to any curbs in immigration on their hopes of securing employment. Only 1 in 20 (5.4%) were confident that they were more likely to get a job with tighter immigration rules

Over a third of students (37.5%) polled were confident and optimistic that manifesto pledges (Labour and Green Party) to remove tuition fees would become a reality. The vast majority (53.6%) felt it was uncertain and unsure either Labour of the Greens would actually deliver on this pledge.

Vincent Karremans, Founder of Magnet.me commented: “At the start of the year, two-thirds of students were optimistic about getting a job this year, 6 months later more than half have lost hope. The growing uncertainty around handling Brexit negotiations and the potential outcomes of the general election have clearly compounded job fears for graduates entering the workforce”

“Political parties and companies alike are not doing enough to allay the fears of the next batch of graduates. Electioneering encompasses a wide range of issues and it seems student, despite their doubts about abolition of tuition fees becoming a reality, are favouring a Labour government when it comes securing employment”


1 Results are from a Magnet.me user survey and focus groups of current (final year) students conducted in May 2017. 8,231 British users responded to the survey conducted online and by e-mail.