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Training and Development Top Priority for Graduates


Graduates rank training and development over salary when selecting their first employer, a new survey claims.

The online poll for Ernst & Young, which registered over 1000 votes, found that that nearly half (44%) of graduates view a company’s provision of training and development as the most important consideration when weighing up a potential employer.

Other considerations were: salary & benefits (18%), work/life balance (16%), business reputation (12%), people & culture (8%), and ethical and environmental reputation (3%).

Stephen Isherwood, Head of Graduate Recruitment at Ernst & Young, said: “Despite the many concerns students have when thinking about their future employer, it is still critically important for many of them that their new job offers them opportunities to learn, and to develop their own careers.”

He added: “Students perceive work/life balance in a different way to that of experienced hires who may have young families and other commitments. Travel, secondments, variety of projects and a flexible approach to work are all vital to graduates searching for that all important first job. Often these are as important as the desire for that first pay cheque,” Stephen added.

Ethical and environmental considerations were lower down the list with only 3% citing it as the most important reason for choosing an employer.

Mike Cullen, Managing Partner of People at Ernst & Young believes this is due to the fact that students now expect a high level of responsible behaviour from organisations.

“For many students the fact that their future employer has a credible ethical and environmental stance is now a given and not a potential differentiator,” he said. “Where employers can make a difference is by recognising potential early on in their people offering a compelling balance between career and personal development and a more flexible work/life balance.”


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