East Midlands graduates say work experience not qualifications counts in race for jobs

David Harbourne

Over four fifths (83 per cent) of recent university graduates in the East Midlands say experience of work is important when trying to find a job, whilst less than half (47 per cent) said qualifications were important, according to research commissioned by independent education charity, the Edge Foundation.

The OnePoll survey found that among graduates in the region who had found work, nearly three quarters (71 per cent)  are in jobs which don’t require a degree, while over a quarter (28 per cent) said they could have got where they are now without going to university.

The Edge Foundation’s acting chief executive, David Harbourne, said: “People have been led to believe that a degree is a guaranteed passport to success when in fact university is not the only route to a rewarding and prosperous career.

“Our research reveals that many young graduates feel let down. We need a range of learning options, not only because graduates are feeling short changed on their investment, but because we need a skills base which will serve the increasingly technical and diverse UK economy.”