The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has predicted that the average starting salary for a graduate is to rise by four percent to £26,000 this year.

This year’s predicted increase is the largest since the start of the credit crunch.

The AGR highlighted that since 2009, average graduate starting salaries had remained static at £25,000.

Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the AGR, commented that: “this predicted increase to graduate salaries is significant and sizeable”.

However, according to ‘Career Development Survey’ from 2010, undertaken by the University of Sussex Career Development and Employment Centre (CDEC), the average salary of first-degree graduates leaving the university was £18,727.

The survey also indicated that 71 percent of first-degree leavers were in graduate level work, which is an increase on the figure from 2009.

The data from the survey shows an improved position for University of Sussex graduates in comparison to the previous year, particularly in relation to employment.
An AGR survey of ‘blue chip’ employers suggests that the number of graduate vacancies is predicted to drop by an average 1.2 percent this year.

Investment banks are predicting the biggest national decrease in vacancies, with a 41.7 percent reduction.
However, IT and Telecommunications companies are expecting the biggest increase in graduate vacancies, with a predicted rise of 32.5 percent. Construction firms, consultancies and the public sector are also expecting a significant raise in vacancy levels in 2012.

A public sector employer has reported to AGR that due to recruitment freezes throughout the rest of the organisation, graduate vacancies have increased in the public sector.

The employer said: “we are losing people through natural wastage and restructuring”.

Sussex’s Career Development Survey showed that in 2010, the three largest employers of University of Sussex graduates were in education, wholesale retail and in science.

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