Entry-level graduates are now the second biggest talent pool for employers, up 3% on last year at 38%, according to a global job creation study by Ernst & Young.
Experienced non-management roles remained at 51%, the same as last year.
Over a third of employers said they intend to fill vacancies with entry-level graduates. In addition, candidates with no degree saw a rise of 3% to 29%.
Elizabeth Gooch, CEO of back-office optimisation software specialist eg solutions, agreed with the findings encouraging employers to look further than a candidate's experience and instead opt for graduates and other entry-level employees.
Gooch said: “It’s so easy to overlook someone without job experience, but any business could well be restricting itself if it only looks towards this as a genuine indicator of skills and the ability to add value to a business.
“As an entrepreneur of a successful company and an employer, I want to see some practical abilities that can be nurtured and applied as best they can be, and fledgling professionals are a frustrated melting pot of untapped talent,” she added.
Vikram Setia, founder of infoMENTUM believes that graduates will still struggle to find jobs unless universities update their courses: "There is a real skills gap between the academic and corporate worlds. We are a specialist in Middleware technology based on Oracle WebCenter and have found that graduates aren't leaving university with the right skills to join the current high-tech workplace.”
Setia said infoMENTUM is always looking to expand its base in the UK, but due to the IT skills shortage the company has found itself looking abroad for candidates with the right qualifications: “We've tried to kick off a graduate programme for UK students in the past but the government has been too restrictive.
"It's down to Oracle partners such as ourselves to provide the specific training, but currently there's a lack of quality candidates coming into the workforce.
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"We're not expecting people to know how to use WebCenter already; it's the basic skills and technological know-how that's missing. Without a base knowledge of advanced web development, British graduates lack the skills for us to be able to train them to specialise in WebCenter.”
Setia said universities are so far behind that they are not educating students on current and future technologies - only on those that have been around for a while: “This is such a growth industry and we're seeing strong demand from our customers, so there's a great opportunity for those with the right skills, but universities need to step up and act now. We need to start inspiring and empowering UK graduates and ensure their qualifications set them up for life."