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College Leavers Confident They Are More Employable Than Graduates

- Work experience and learning new skills are top priorities for 75% for first jobbers

- Only 22% of college leavers think that money is important in first job

- 75% willing to work for free to gain work experience

30th May 2006 – 63% of college leavers believe they will have better skills and find jobs more easily than graduates, according to a survey of 156 college leavers who attended Angela Mortimer’s Reality Bites event on 10th May 2006. Over a fifth of respondents are confident they will earn more money than graduates by entering the job market now and 12% believe they will have less debt.

Money is no longer the key motivator for college leavers looking for work. Over 75% of respondents want to learn new skills and gain office experience in their new jobs, compared with 22% of college leavers wanting to earn money. 75% claimed they would happily work for free to get their foot on the ladder and 81% were prepared to take on temporary work, indicating the level of competition that exists to gain entry level jobs.

In terms of salary, the college leavers’ expectations were varied. 27% of college leavers expect to earn between 18-20K per annum, with 23% of respondents expecting even higher wages. There figures are greater than the market average of 16-18k for college leavers’ first roles, recorded in Angela Mortimer’s Annual Blue Book Salary survey in early 2006. 50% of respondents were however more realistic stating they would be happy to earn from 14K up to 18K per year.

Unsurprisingly, the world of media topped the poll in terms of industry preference, gaining a 40% share of vote. However, this was closely following by the banking and finance industry, which was selected by 35% of college leavers. Many respondents did not care which industry sector they entered, it seemed that any public or private sector company would suffice in terms of first job roles.

“It is clear from our survey that today’s college leaver recognises that competition to secure their first position is fierce. Work experience and learning new skills were deemed more important than financial rewards. The majority even claim they will work for free or take temporary work to get their foot on the ladder. This attitude is realistic and reflects what our clients are saying. They want to employ support staff who are bright, motivated and keen to learn – for these people the sky is the limit in terms of development opportunities,” stated Ashley Williams, Director of Partnership Products, at Angela Mortimer.

“What is surprising is that the majority of these college leavers think that they will be in a stronger position, with better skills and be more employable than their graduate counterparts by choosing work over university. With increased government targets for universities, there will be even greater numbers of graduates on the market in three years time; it is little wonder that these college leavers are getting a head start now.”

270 college leavers from 16 colleges across the UK attended this year’s ‘Reality Bites’ event at London’s Sugar Reef, Windmill Street, Piccadilly Circus on 10th May 2006. The event, now in its 16th year, focuses on preparing college leavers for the work place. The CV clinics, mock interviews, on the spot ICT and typing tests, together with seminars presented by high profile organisations such as Eversheds and Ernst and Young provided attendees with an insight into what to expect from the world of work.


About Angela Mortimer

Founded in 1976, Angela Mortimer plc is Britain's leading quality recruitment consultancy. With over 200 consultants in the group, it provides support staff to the UK's leading companies and individuals. The company has four offices in London, and others in Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Paris and Brussels.

Other companies within the Angela Mortimer group include Pathfinders Media Recruitment, Design Studio People, Knightsbridge Secretaries, Katie Bard Birmingham & Nottingham, AMTech IT Staffing, HR Counsel, AM Finance, Preferred Financial Recruitment(PFR), Ruth Halliday Associates, Progresis - Paris, Femmes et Carrières - Paris, Excel Careers - Brussels, Excel Interim - Brussels.

For further information please contact:

Kathryn Hughes
Head of PR
Hbl Media
Tel: 020 7612 1831
Mob: 07801 823 839