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Graduate employment crisis – what crisis?

There are plenty of exciting opportunities for fresh graduates - as long as you know where to look for them

By Jason Stamper

IT provider Softcat, The Sunday Times’ Best Small Company to Work For in 2010, today insisted that there are plenty of exciting opportunities for fresh graduates, as long as they know where to look for them. The news will no doubt surprise graduates searching for their first position.

Although a recent survey from the Association of Graduate Recruiters suggests that this year’s university leavers must compete with an average of 68 other applicants for each job, its research data is mostly based on the UK’s larger employers, Softcat argues.

Martin Hellawell, managing director of Softcat, is quick to point out that the figures do not apply to all businesses: "People are concerned about there being 68 graduates for every job. In our experience, the opposite is true: you could almost say we have 68 jobs for every graduate. We are growing quickly and have plenty of vacancies, but finding the right talent is a big challenge for us, even today. If someone has what it takes, we want to hear from them. There are plenty of smaller, fast-growing organisations like ours looking to recruit."

Softcat took the top spot in The Sunday Times’ ‘Best Small Companies to Work For’ category this year on the strength of its policies as an employer and the views expressed by its employees. The company says it cultivates an environment where people can enjoy their work and take pride in achieving their goals.

It offers staff half-day holidays on their birthdays, lunch at exclusive restaurants and incentives to exotic destinations to reward performance, a shirt ironing service (seriously), student loan contributions and full support in attaining relevant qualifications.

Softcat says it aims to recruit up to 70 graduates for sales and account management positions over the next 12 months.

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Graduation image: m00by, Flickr, CC licence.

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