London finance to lead surge in graduate hiring

FINANCIAL services firms are looking forward leading a graduate recruitment boom this year, with an industry body forecasting the strongest increase in vacancies for recent students in at least 13 years.

The latest Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) survey, released this morning, projects an amazing 17.1 per cent jump in the number of vacancies.

Financial services firms are expected to surpass even that figure by a significant distance, rising ahead of every other sector with a 54.1 per cent increase in jobs on offer from last year’s season.

Despite an increase in the number of applications, the rapid increase in new positions meant that the number of applications per post fell from 85.3 last year to 69.2 this year.

The authors of the research stressed that many students and recent graduates apply to several positions, boosting the figure, but that the drop was good news for applicants. The number of people applying per job in investment banking and fund management fell from 135 to 125.

Accountancy and professional services also comes out as one of the fastest-growing sectors, with recruitment up 24 per cent from last year.

Recruitment in the capital dominates again, with 45.6 per cent of vacancies for university leavers in London. Combined with the south east of England, the regions make up more than half of the recruits.

In comparison, Northern Ireland, Wales, the north east and east of England combined make up less than eight per cent of the posts.

Graduate starting salaries are expected to rise by £500 from last year’s figure, to a typical level of £27,000 – a 1.8 per cent boost, roughly in line with inflation. New investment bankers and fund managers will see the highest pay packets once again, at £43,500 on average.

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