Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Census and graduates

Well, census data is available, and it's not just about how many people have come from overseas to live in the UK.

There's actually a section on the labour market. Now, obviously the data is not terribly detailed just yet, but there's some interesting information available.

Table KS501EW  tells us that in England and Wales, 27.2% of the population aged 16-74 has a degree  or equivalent - or higher. This is not exactly 'everyone has a degree nowadays' - although it does mean we have just over 12m people in the country with some kind of HE or equivalent qualification.

What makes this more interesting is Table KS608EW, which shows us that 40.9% of the working population is employed in occupational classes (from SOC) 1 to 3, or, what we class as 'professional employment' in the Key Information Set and on Unistats. These are, basically, what we now term 'graduate jobs'.

Does this mean we have too few graduates? I'm not sure - obviously everyone currently in professional occupations is not going to retire tomorrow (I've got a mortgage, for a start), and also we should not see the professionals as being solely for graduates. But it does reinforce the idea that we have a pretty high-skills labour market and that therefore we need a high-skills workforce. It's not exactly a new idea, but this is just one more piece of evidence showing how important our universities are.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Where else can you get a job outside London?

As a companion to yesterday's piece about cities outside London which produce graduates - and also because it's a bit harsh to leave out Liverpool and Newcastle - let's take a look at the other areas outside the capital which took on a lot of graduates last year.

Not surprisingly, Merseyside and Tyne and Wear, saw a significant number of graduates at all levels start work in the regions. Liverpool and Newcastle are both populous cities with relatively strong local labour markets. Also significant are affluent and densely-populated counties in the south-east that don't have many dominant population centres but do have lots of locations where graduates can find work - these regions tend not to take many doctoral graduates but do have an appetite for first degrees and other undergraduates. Lancashire covers a wide area and contains a number of large towns and hence takes on a lot of graduates, two thirds of whom were locally-domiciled last year. And the strong labour market for graduates in Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire has a lot to do with the local universities - both region took on more doctoral graduates than PGCE last year due to the presence of local research powerhouses.

There are many other regions for graduates to look for work, but this gives an idea of where concentrations of jobs might be found.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Getting a job outside London

I'll just pause for a moment whilst everyone who isn't reading the Chancellor's Autumn Statement and looking for some good news somewhere reels in shock at seeing a post.

Yes, we've been busy - you probably spotted Futuretrack, and we'll probably have more to say about that soon enough.

Anyway, one of the things I've been doing, as usual, is looking at one of my main interests in graduate LMI, which is regional labour markets.

We keep stressing that there are jobs outside London, although it's also fair to point out that London is a bit of a behemoth when it comes to finding work.

A lot of analyses of the graduate jobs market focuses on first degrees and misses the full range of qualifications that you can get from HE. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but here are the qualification breakdown for  HE graduates who got jobs in the 8 of the cities which employed the largest number of new graduates (this doesn't correlate to population, by the way - Cardiff, punches particularly  well above its weight here. It also, for dull reasons to do with the data I have available, does not include Liverpool and Newcastle which might possibly be in there if I had that data - and I have a suspicion looking at local data both Oxford and Cambridge might as well. Sorry.) For the record, the cities that fall just outside are, in order, Leicester, Aberdeen, Sheffield and Bristol. The data is from DLHE, of course.

Some things are plain. There were lots of jobs in Birtmingham - the 'other undergraduates' in this case seem to include a lot of nursing diplomas.

A lot of graduates get jobs in these cities. Literally thousands. In fact, a lot of postgraduates get jobs in them as well - Manchester had an unusually high proportion of total jobs available to doctoral graduates (probably something to do with have a very big research institution in the city), and Edinburgh and Glasgow look to be good places to go with a Masters. Twice as many new graduates went to work in Cardiff last year than in any other city in Wales

But what these figures show is that a lot of graduates - an awful lot of graduates - get jobs in these places. These figures don't show if those jobs are any good, of course (although mostly, they are - we'll get on to that later), but does suggest that some cities are good places to look for work, even at the moment.

And since we now know that the economy - and hence the jobs market - is set to be tough for some time, it's useful to know where to look for jobs.