Regional job vacancies are available but out of work graduates appear to be turning their backs as they seek out opportunities in London and the south east.
With four weeks left before the opening of the 2011 graduate recruitment scheme, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has reported close to 17,000 applications for 1,400 vacancies in 2010 across graduate, intern and student entry schemes.
Since the recession and financial crisis began in 2008, applications to the firm have increased 55%, with an average 15 applicants for every vacancy this year. Over 800 graduates will join in September and October.
Across all the schemes, applications to the London and the south east dominate interest, representing up to 70% of the interest, despite only representing half the available vacancies. Applications to London vacancies have exceeded the national average for the firm, up 63% since 2008.
Applications to graduate vacancies in the firm’s regional headquarters in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle were flat, or in some cases indicated small declines. A handful of vacancies still remain open for jobs starting in October.
‘If it’s a question of being out of work, or kick-starting your career with an employer like PwC in a major city, graduates shouldn’t be struggling with the answer.
‘It’s extremely surprising to think people are crossing great jobs in big cities off the list before they’ve even considered them. The training, support and career opportunity is the same, but the cost of living far more realistic for students who are graduating with the kind of debt it took previous generations a decade to generate,’ says Sonja Stockton, director of recruitment, PwC.
Nationwide, interest in specialist roles in the firm’s actuarial, consulting and tax roles are particularly strong, responding in part to the firm’s increase in consulting vacancies by a third this year.
In advance of the 2011 student recruitment launch, the firm has urged graduates and undergraduates to get a grip on their long-term career plans, identifying essential skills they can develop, in any job they can do, or risk paying the price for the recession long into the recovery.
The firm is expected to recruit around 1,100 students and graduates this year.
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