IntroductionThisessay is divided into two parts, A and B. Part A will discuss the presentmarketplace for graduate and job opportunities, giving general overview of theUK graduate marketplace before and after recession time and then focusing onthe graduate marketplace and job opportunities in the financial industry. Finally,part B will describe and talk about my intended career plan. Graduatelabour market general overview since 2013 Thegraduate labour market has seen tremendous change over the past years. With an up-to-datemarket becoming immeasurably competitive than it has never been in a past, dueto a rise in the number of graduates entering the job market each year.
Theyear 2017 accounted a total of 14 million graduates across the UK in July toSeptember making this year being one of the best if compared with past years (Officefor National Statistics, 2017). According to the Higher Education Careers ServicesUnit research, during the year 2017 out of 248,525 UK- domiciled 1stdegree graduates who replied to the survey, has seen a total of 74.2% graduatesin employment with only as little as 5.7% being unemployed whilst 5.3% werestill studying and working at the same time and last 15.7% of them furtheredtheir studies or went on training (HECSU, 2017).
Even though 5.7% unemployedgraduate, they still had more chance to get higher salary and were more likely tobe employed with 82% employed from July to September of the year 2017 against 78%employed non- graduate which only had an A level or equivalent (Office forNational Statistics, 2017). This improvement made over the past years has beenthe result of a constant amelioration year after year in the recruitment ofgraduate, which was first noticed in the year 2013 when UK’s leading employerscreated more vacancies for graduate. Throughout the year 2013 vacancies forgraduate was up at 2.5% despite having almost half of them (47%) innon-graduate jobs according to the ONS (Allen, 2017). The following year (2014)was said to be the best year since recession time as unemployment rate dropped from9.
1% (2013) to 7.8% (2014) after six months of graduation (Ball, 2014), andvacancy for graduate was up at 7.9% (High Fliers, 2017), resulting in anoverall positive figure of employment rate for full time first degree after sixmonths of graduation up at 70.7% in 2014 against 68.5% in 2013 (Ball, 2014). In the same year 34% of graduate wassaid to be in full time job in the career of them choose whilst the other parteventually had a job but not in the field of their degree (Charles, 2014). Continuingwith the year 2015 which saw an increase in recruitment of graduate from UK’stop employers up at 3.3% and finally the year 2016 up at 1.
6% which if comparedto the year 2015 was not great as the amount of jobs for new graduate shrunk by8% meaning more graduate were found without a job after graduation (Allen,2016). This reduction in the hiring of graduate during the year 2016 was saidto be caused by employers because, most of them stopped doing graduatetraineeships and started instead implementing more apprenticeships to respondthe government demand of boosting apprentice number therefore graduateapprenticeships and vacancy joined together had decreased by 3% during the year2016 (O’Connor, 2016). We strongly believe Brexit was the main reason of thedrop-in vacancies of graduate throughout the year 2016 as half of the UK topemployers were obliged to reduce their recruitment (TheIndependent, 2016). Figure 1: How employer’s vacancies for graduateschanged from 2007-2017 (HighFliers, 2017)Graduatelabour market overview before and after recession timeBeforerecession time (2007) jobs were easily accessible to get for graduate andunemployment rate for graduates as well was very low however after recession,as the years went by the labour market for graduates got worse than ever becomingvery competitive each year and finding a job for graduate was considered asbeing the hardest job after graduation (Charles, 2014).
Straight after recessionperiod things started getting tougher and employers started using unfairnesspractice towards applicant following a rise in application received which wasdriven by the recession. Most employers started relying on the 2.1 and were screeningout application of those graduates who failed to get a 2.1 degree however thosewho were successful in getting a 2.1 or first-class degree were more likely tobe employed immediately or few months after graduation (Clark, 2010). Stillduring recession recovery time, as the year went by employer’s views changedover 2.1 degrees despite 70% of them demanding at least a 2.
1 degree as toprequirement. They started seeing 2.1 degrees as a minimum standard due to asignificant rise in the number of 2.
1 degrees over the past 10 years, so whatthey did instead was simply to increase their requirement by considering moreapplication of those graduate who managed to get a 2.1 degree and had workexperience prior graduation (Press Association, 2012). Once this was identifiedby graduate, many of them felt obliged to take an internship in the hope toincrease their chance of getting a job straight after graduation.
Employers startedusing unfair practice towards graduates and took advantage of them as asubstantial number of graduates in the market were looking to improve theirworking skills through an internship therefore they ended up being exploited byemployers by not getting paid for the work they were producing throughout theirinternship. The Sutton Trust as accounted a total of 22,000 interns which couldhave not been paid at the end of the year 2014 (Trupia, 2017).Regardlessof having experienced four years of sustained growth in the creation of vacanciessince 2013, the graduate labour market was seriously hit during recession time forthe fact that this period resulted in a terrible economic downturn and an importantlevel of graduate’s unemployed was identified which made this period being theworst since the pre-recession in 2007, when the graduate jobs market condition wasmore enjoyable and easy to access for graduates (Ball, 2014). Many of the topgraduate’s employers managed to tackle the impact of recession by implementing newworking strategies in cutting down expenses which led to this issue becoming a issueof contention in the UK. This case needed to be resolved immediately, as there wasa 25% increase in graduate unemployed during the last quarter of the year 2009with all being aged less than 24 (Sreekumar, 2013). In addition to the stated above,graduates’ vacancies dropped too by 8.9% throughout the year 2008/2009 meaningdemand didn’t match supply which made people realising the huge amount ofgraduate being left without a job after graduation which had to compete eachyear against previous graduate who missed to get a job after graduation(Sreekumar, 2013). Not only recession time hit graduates with high rate ofgraduate unemployment but we believe that it has also had an implication on theUK’s economy for the fact that the more graduates unemployed are the less taxthe government receive therefore by receiving less tax income the government isforced to borrow money which is risky because it generally involve them payinginterest so instead they will rather go onto cutting back on planned spendingin order pay unemployment benefits to those jobless graduate.
Graduatejob opportunities in the financial industryNowadays,finding a job is one of the hardest jobs for graduate therefore getting a jobhighly depends of the subject studied at university. In 2015 a deluge of graduatejob was made available in the UK financial services (Minsky, 2015). Accordingto the HESA ranking of top employers of different industry, out of 10 regardingthe number of graduate recruited, has seen in first, third, fourth and fifthposition top employers offering best training scheme of financial services suchas PwC top of the list with 420 graduates recruited in 2016.
In addition to thestated above research from High Fliers shows that most graduate jobs are foundin the financial sector. Top employers of the Accounting and professionalservices business sector were top of the list and all together had recruited byDecember of the year 2016 4,899 graduates. This figure was up at 0,4% comparedwith the previous year with 9 vacancies added (High Fliers, 2017).
Based on thetable result we can clearly say that the financial industry is leading the wayagainst other industry such as engineering with Enterprise who only recruited170 graduates in 2016 (University guide, 2017).ConclusionThroughout our research we have detected notable change in the graduatelabour market over past years which we believe was due to several factors suchas recession and Brexit which had badly impacted on the graduate labour marketand made it be worse than before recession time in 2007 (Ball, 2014). High rate of graduate unemployment and decrease of vacancy wasobserved all through recession time which after recession followed on anamelioration in the recruitment of graduate until Brexit was voted and led to adecrease in the creation of graduate vacancies (Colson, 2016). We highlybelieve in a huge risk for the UK economic if high rate of graduate unemployedare as it will force the government to cut on planed spending or borrow moneyin order to pay unemployment benefits therefore we believe graduate unemploymentwill not disappear overnight but will still be an issue in the UK that can potentiallybe prevented if graduate choose to study subject like finance were jobs arehugely available, taking internships will also be a benefit without missingwork experience prior graduation and getting first class or 2.1 which webelieve will increase their chance to be employed straight after graduation andthis done will then help in the reduction of graduates unemployed.Iam currently in the second year of my undergraduate degree, studying businesswith financial management which I believe will help me going into the job of myintended career plan which is to become a financial risk analyst. I have alwayswanted to become a financial risk analyst because I believe it is extremely beneficialto have such department in within a business as it helps preventing potentialrisk that can impact badly on a business (Prospects, 2017).
My career plansAllthrough my education at Northumbria university I will gain the right knowledgethat will help me in an entry level position. From this year I will continueprogressing to the final year of my study and then look onto Barclays andLloyds graduate training programme. I choose the two companies for the onlyreason that they are part of the 100 top graduate employers. Been given theopportunity to start a graduate training programme as a financial risk analystwith one of the 2 above stated company will help me putting into applicationthe financial theory taught at university. I will gain the right knowledgerelating to the role and the responsibility of being a financial risk analystand the right support from the start of my career.
I’ll also have a mentor thatI will be able to talk to when facing any kind of problems and finally thechance to rotate through different departments which will equip me in gainingthe experience of other function in within the company (Barclays, 2017). Financialrisk analyst responsibility consists on (Prospects, 2017):Makingrecommendation to control or reduce riskcollaboratingwith traders to analyse the risk linked with specific transactionpredictingand observing market trendsstudyingproposed business decisionconductingresearch to evaluate the gravity of riskconductingstatistical analysis to assess risk using statistical softwarereviewinglegal documentssummarizingresearch findings and give recommendation for improvement all written on reportwhich will have to be presented to managersbuyinginsurancecarryingout quantitative analysisprotectingthe company resources as well as the public imagedevelopingemergency plans in order to deal with emergencies. Thegraduate training programme will take about 2 years long which after being welltrained I plan to specialise into credit risk analyst. I choose credit riskanalyst out of the four specialisations in within the profession which includecredit, market, operational and regulation, mainly because credit risk analyst isa job that comes with a lot of responsibility and for that the smallest mistakecan lead to a disaster.
As a credit risk analyst, I will have the duty to takeon risk assessment analysis of numerous types of lending. Advising clients andhelping them making the right decision on getting the right loan. Before grantingloans to applicant, financial information is required in order to assess thefinancial condition of the claimant to minimise the risk of a bad debt (Gradireland,2017). As a credit risk analyst my working activities will involve (Gradireland,2017):Tocarry out credit checks on personal loans and corporate measurecredit riskprovidingfinancial guidance in order to control credit useidentifyingand taking the edge of risk issuesworkingtogether with a production and collection unit and negotiating disputes andresolving it finding the real reason and documenting the root causebeingpart of a team of goal driven to help in the success of the credit riskdepartment.Myaim is to work as a credit risk analyst for 3 years so I can learn about allfundamentals about the job and have the required experience to move onto thenext level and being promoted as a credit risk manager still in the bankingsector. As a risk manager I will work with companies to find and assesspotential risk that may impact negatively on the safety, reputation, securityand financial prosperity of their company. As soon as this risk have beenfound, measured and evaluated, risk credit analyst managers have then the missionto implement processes and procedure to make sure their client are entirelyready to deal with any kind of potential threats.
The types of solutionsuggested and applied by credit risk manager are likely to include health andsafety polies, insurance, business continuity plans and disaster recoverymeasure. Credit risk analyst spend the major part of their time analysingmarket trends, reports, statistics and conduct detailed risk assessment (Prospects,2017). I will work as a credit risk manager for 2 years and gain the rightknowledge and experience that will equip me and help me getting promoted as asenior manager credit risk analyst.
My main responsibility as a senior creditrisk manager will be to deliver good credit risk analytics expertise to permitmonitoring of the bank portfolio to drive constant business growth throughchange and implementation of loaning strategies (Lloyds banking group, 2017). I will also take on indeepness credit risk assessment of existing and new clients, this will be doneafter collecting and gathering important non-financial and financialinformation in order to complete a credit review.Feedback receivedduring seminar activities & directed studiesItwill take me about 7 years until I reach the top position therefore beforereaching it I will have to work hard on improving myself by focusing on thefeedback received from several activities done in class for me to becomesuitable for my intended graduate position. We did 3 types of psychometric testwhich are mainly used by organisation to find out if a candidate is suitablefor the advertised job or not. Psychometric test is a method used to measureindividual behavioural style and mental capabilities. I will definitely have topractice more on them three test because I didn’t get great result in each ofthem which included verbal reasoning test, logical reasoning test and numericalreasoning last which I was really disappointed with as I am really good at mathematicstherefore after I made some research about the numerical reasoning I finallycame to the point based on my research that the numerical reasoning test is notdesigned to measure my mathematical capacity but my capacity to use numericaldata as a tool to solve problems and make reasoned decision (Institute ofPsychometric Coaching, 2017). In addition to the psychometric test we weregiven the chance to practice internal and external interview which I believewas beneficial for the whole class as it helped in the reduction of stress andhelped boosting the confidence for future interviews but most important is thatwe were given feedbacks which if working on it will benefit us for future interviews.
I was very satisfied with the feedback I got and I know that I have to work onmy preparation, give other example than the company I am working for and finalgive better explanation about the result while answering interview question. Lastactivity we did was called assessment centre group exercise this activity asfor purpose to help recruiters assess how candidate would perform in the job.It also helps them knowing if candidates are good communicators and goodproblem solver in order to see if they can or not work in within a teameffectively (Savill, 2011). This activity was very helpful in a way that we asa group were given a case study that we had discus and solve in within 25 min.We managed to work effectively as a team and for that managed to solve theproblem therefore we didn’t check the time and went over the time limit which Ibelieve was the reason of me and other member of my group not meeting standardsand being scored 1. Next time as a team we will have to be more conscious ofthe time in order to succeed as a team.Strengths Strengths weaknesses Strong numeracy Good research skills Planning and problem-solving ability Computer literacy and IT competence Negotiation skills Oral communication & written skills Presenting financial information Commercial awareness Work independently & cope with responsibility & work under pressure Working in a team Meeting deadline Tobe a successful candidate and work efficiently as a financial risk analyst, thelisted working skills on the above table are required skills that employerswant candidates to have.
To be able to adapt quickly with the job and to be asuccessful candidate I will have to work more on two of my weaknesses to turnthem into strengths and carrying on practising more on those skills which Iconsider as being strengths. First weakness I have identified is presentingfinancial information for the only reason that I feel uncomfortable whilepresenting to a large group of people and I tend to say things faster. Secondone to have been identified as weakness is negotiation skill because I’ve facedso many situations in my place of work where I had to negotiate with customerto get the sale but it has never really worked out for me this probably becausewhile doing it I felt like I was forcing the customer to purchase the product anddidn’t offer them the deal that they were expecting. For me to get an entrylevel graduate job in Barclays or Lloyds I will have to put myself into realcondition where I will have to present financial information to a group ofpeople in order to build confidence and being prepared for future presentation.I will also have to practice on my negotiation skills to get better at it.
ConclusionInconclusion I will carry on working on my strength as there is always room forimprovement therefore regarding my weaknesses I have applied at Barclays bankfor a 9 weeks internship as a risk financial analyst which will start in June (Barclays,2017). I am looking forward hearing back from them as I believe that doing aninternship with them will help me turning my weaknesses into strengths and makeme be a successful candidate while applying for a graduate scheme job after Igraduate.