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AGR Warns on Competitive Student Recruitment Market


The Chief Executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) warns that the student recruitment market will only get more competitive as the pool of young people shrinks.

The warning came at the start of the AGR Student Recruitment Showcase, taking place today (25 January 2017) in London.

Speaking of the 10% drop in the number of 18 year olds in the UK in the next five years, AGR chief Stephen Isherwood said:

“Market changes are driving demand for higher skills. Yet there are fewer and fewer young people coming into the workforce due to low birth rates in the noughties.

“This is not just a reoccurring trend that we’ll see in 2017, the pool of young people will shrink considerably over the next five years. We are all going to have to adapt to a smaller talent population. Don’t expect to see the market get any less competitive for graduate, apprentice or intern hires.

“We operate in a complex market and to handle the changes we face, we must look to the data available to us to make our market operate more efficiently. Industry needs to be prepared for the demographic challenge and the inevitable skill shortages that it will bring.”

Charlie Ball, Head of Higher Intelligence at Prospects, reiterated the message and looked further to the future. During his presentation on the state of the graduate jobs market, he said:

“The recession started and birth rates soared, so in the 2030s the trend we’re seeing now, with the fall in the number of young entrants, will reverse. There will be significantly more 18 year olds than we have now, and that there has been for a generation.”

The day-long AGR Student Recruitment Showcase features experts from business and education to discuss and debate the year ahead in student recruitment.

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