Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance

We Need to Talk About Graduates: The Changing Nature of the UK Graduate Labour Market

The British graduate labour market attracts much attention with the popular media as well in policy circles. This monograph examines the extent to which these political and media discourses are congruent with the empirical realities. It will argue that the assumptions many policymakers and media outlets make regarding graduate work, skills and occupations are no longer valid within the changing educational and labour market contexts. To demonstrate this, the monograph will review seven trends that currently shape the British graduate labour market. These are: the fast expansion of higher education; the recession and the widespread effects on the general labour market; global economic integration; the emergence of new graduate occupations; new types of work organisations and technological change; the war for talent and the elite labour market; and increasing wage differentiation. The paper will show these seven trends and their effects contradict the conceptualisation of the graduate labour market which dominant within media and policy discourses.

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