Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

UK Job Market Looking Up for Graduates

The labour market for graduates in the UK is showing clear signs of improving, finds new data from LinkedIn.

  • LinkedIn data shows UK labour market showing signs of optimism for entry-level roles
  • Tech roles and sector offer most opportunities
  • Soft skills like communication and problem solving are in high demand
  • Growth in remote roles and online networking as graduates adapt to pandemic
  • Employers encouraged to look at skills over direct experience to help overcome unemployment scarring

The labour market for graduates in the UK is showing clear signs of improving, finds new data from LinkedIn. The data will come as welcome news as ONS data shows that people under the age of 25 have been hardest hit by the pandemic’s impact on the labour market.  Last July, LinkedIn saw that hiring fell 23% for graduates but as the UK economy starts to reopen and the vaccine programme rolls out, there are clear signs that hiring of UK graduates is on its way to recovering to pre-COVID hiring rates. 

Adam Hawkins, Head of Search & Staffing at LinkedIn, said: “Young people have faced an incredibly challenging year due to COVID-19. Not only have there been more people competing for fewer entry-level roles, but many of those lucky enough to secure a role have been starting their first day from home which is not the experience employers would have hoped for. It’s great to see the tides are turning and more graduates are finding jobs and getting hired. Recruiters have been pivotal in giving this demographic a much-needed confidence boost, helping them to understand the value of their transferable skills, recognise their future potential, and expand their horizons to consider a variety of career paths.”

To help people looking for new positions, LinkedIn has today published a new ‘Get Hired’ report that offers insights on labour market trends, including which jobs and skills are most in demand from employers. Today’s report focuses on graduate and entry-level positions and shows that technology and digital-focused roles dominate the fastest-growing jobs, and that soft skills like communication and problem solving are in high demand.

Fast-Growing Jobs 

  • Digital Marketing Specialist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Web Developer
  • Mobile Application Developer
  • Cloud Engineer
  • Healthcare Assistant
  • Electrician
  • Social Services Assistant

Top 10 Industries Hiring Entry-Level Positions

  • Software & IT Services
  • Finance
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Construction
  • Media & Communications
  • Corporate Services
  • Consumer Goods
  • Retail
  • Energy & Mining

In-Demand Skills 

  • Communication
  • Analytical skills
  • Customer service
  • Design
  • Problem solving

Alison Wilcox, Group HR Director, BT Group said: “BT is at the heart of the UK’s digital economy and as a leading employer of apprentices and graduates we offer unparalleled development opportunities. Despite the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve continued to recruit and attract brilliant people from all walks of life into our business, and we value the diverse perspectives they bring. Roles available this year vary from engineering and customer service through to applied research, and cyber-security across a number of locations including; Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Ipswich, London and Manchester. We look forward to welcoming the 2021 newcomers.”

New graduates grapple with remote working and online networking

The percentage of entry-level remote jobs posted in the UK has increased significantly since the pandemic. 10% of entry-level roles posted between January 1st - March 31st 2021 were remote, compared to just 0.6% in January 1st - March 31st 2020. As the number of remote roles has seen major growth, employers have to carefully consider how to onboard people who are starting their careers and find ways to help build workplace skills and foster company culture remotely.

The 2020 graduating class also built virtual communities at a faster rate, as lockdowns limited opportunities to meet in-person. There was a 31% increase in the rate at which LinkedIn connections were formed by the 2020 graduating class compared to the class of 2019. 

Support for graduates and career starters

Graduates who are looking for more resources to help them to find a role, including how they can build new skills for free and prepare for interviews, can learn more at:

This includes free LinkedIn Learning courses to help build their customer service and soft skills, as well as build skills for careers in fast-growing roles like digital marketing, software development and design.  LinkedIn has also partnered with #10000 Black Interns to help more young people develop the skills they need to get hired.  

LinkedIn is also hosting a free careers event ‘The Jobs Shed’ in London on 15th-16th June, to help individuals find new jobs and progress their career.