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Businesses are hiring an increasing number of apprentices but fewer graduates, according to new findings.
A report published by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) found that there was a 25 per cent rise in apprenticeship opportunities, but graduate vacancies increased by just two per cent.
This represents a reduction from last year when employers increased their graduate intake by 13 per cent.
In addition, the number of internship vacancies rose by eight per cent per cent.
Speaking about the findings, Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the AGR, said: “Apprentice policy is driving many employers to ramp-up their apprenticeships on a much larger scale than we’d anticipated. We don’t know what the long-term effects will be, but this isn’t a case of employers’ cannibalising their graduate schemes.
“We’re hearing that businesses view the two groups very separately and that they are complementary. Employers are engaging earlier and opening their doors to a wider group of people by presenting alternative options.”
However, of the 22,000 early talent vacancies, more than half have yet to be filled.
The most in-demand professionals are IT staff, law and financial management personnel.
Mr Isherwood added: “It’s a candidate market at the moment and employers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill roles. We’re seeing nearly one in ten offers reneged as candidates pull out at the last minute for alternative positions.”
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