The best cities in the UK to find a graduate job

Finding that dream job after university is the target for every graduate. Of course location plays a pivotal role as some areas are far better than others when it comes to finding employment.

The reasons for this are varied but in the main it comes as a result of regions having more businesses and opportunities, alongside strong infrastructure. There are other factors that influence an ability to find a job too of course, as Adzuna suggests that three quarters of UK cities struggle to fill vacancies. The reason for this – a shortage of skilled labour.

Filling the skills gap

Graduates are struggling to fill roles because they don’t have the right skills to accommodate the jobs available. When thinking about what it is that you wish to pursue in your future career, graduates should consider additional electives or even, a Masters in their chosen field. Work experience is also a great way to overcome this skills gap.

Strong vacancy growth continues

In September alone, there were nearly 1.2 million positions available; a figure that rose by 2.4% from August and 30.0% year-on-year. The total number of graduates searching for jobs meanwhile has fallen below 700,000 for first time since the recession.

Advertised salaries and wage growth deviate further

Wages are also falling for jobs being advertised, although those already working are seeing particularly strong pay rises. This comes as great news to graduates with the right skill sets.

Where to work

Sunderland, Bradford and Hull appear to be the most sought after places to work, so those wishing to find a job in this area will gain more by moving to a different city. This will help them to avoid job seeker competition.

Figures from earlier in the year listed Cambridge as the best place to find work. Whether you graduate from this city or move to this region post graduation, Cambridge is being described as the best place to climb the first steps of the career ladder. It also boasts the least competition; meaning graduates are more likely to find their dream job as opposed to any job.

Cities in the south tend to fare better in job hunts as the top five cities with the fewest job seekers per vacancy were all found in southern England. Reading, Oxford, Guildford and Winchester are four other cities joining Cambridge in the ranks, while London had an overly high proportion of job seekers compared to job openings. Manchester was the only northern city to make it on this list and is another region popular with graduates looking to join the workforce.

Others on the list include Exeter, Bristol, Crawley and Swindon. The figures come from a poll based on jobseekers per vacancy which looked at major cities and towns across the UK.

At the lower end of the scale when searching for work post University were Salford, Middlesbrough, Swansea, Wolverhampton and Belfast, all of which had very high proportions of job seekers per available role.

What job?

Consultancy roles have been announced as the most prevalent jobs to date when concerning salaries, noting a 1.6% rise, with the average wage now coming in at £30,479.

Job opportunities at the lower end have helped to reduce wages with most graduates joining a training programme on enrolment. This wage will then be increased every year. Graduates will also complete additional training and exams throughout the year.

Part-time positions are also on the rise, an asset to those who wish to engage in further study in order to increase their skill base as they can work and study at the same time.

The outlook

The outlook for 2015’s graduating class was certainly more positive than last year’s prospects, with the total number of vacancies for graduates stepping up by 16%. For instance, in May 2015 there were 16,000 graduate job vacancies available, while a year earlier there were only 13,610. This proves that skill sets have been lost along the way. Those interested in applying and being successful in their dream jobs should certainly look into the requirements needed to fulfill them.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, added: “Job competition has fallen to its lowest level since the recession, which should spell good news for those searching for work. But despite the number of positions growing with a new vigour, the significant skills shortage within the labour force means vacancies are increasingly being left empty.”

He added that home-grown talent is lacking in many cities which means people may need to relocate to find the opportunities they desire. If you’re a graduate looking to relocate, this could mean finding your dream job is very much a possibility, providing you have the right skills.