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Ian Brinkley
Economic Advisor

Unemployed and overqualified? Graduates in the UK labour market

16 December 2015

This report looks at whether the UK is producing too many graduates for the jobs available that need graduate skills.

Our conclusion is that in broad terms the demand for and supply of graduates remains in balance. Graduates on average continue to earn more than non-graduates, have higher employment rates and lower unemployment.

But there is a significant minority of graduates – up to 30 per cent of the total - for whom this is less true. Many are ending up in jobs for which a graduate degree is not necessary.

The report therefore makes some recommendations to schools and colleges, the HE sector, employers, and the government to improve advice on choice of course and encourage better matching of jobs and skills.

But above all, we need to create a strong vocational education and training system that offers good career paths so that future students can choose between our existing world-class university system and a high quality vocational option.

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