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12th September 2012

Demand for graduates up – slightly

0.1 percent increases in graduate employment rate, private spending

Demand in the UK labour market for graduates continues to grow in the UK, says the annual Education at a Glance report.

During the recession, the average employment rate of higher educated individuals increased by 0.1 percent, while for those with lower levels of education, the rate decreased by 3.3 percent.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), who published the study, also found that graduates contributed an extra £55,000 to the UK economy, by paying higher income tax and social contributions.

The report says that this shows the “large advantages” that higher levels of education offer “to both individuals and the public”. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said the report proved that investment in education “pays for itself many times over”.

Investment in higher education, the report found, has increased slightly, but still remains “lower than that of other developed nations”. The UK spent 1.3 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on higher education in 2009, up from 1.2 percent the year before. This still, however, remains way under the OECD average, which lies at 1.6 percent.

This marginal increase is being attributed to a rise in the amount of private funds going into higher education – an increase of 0.1 percent.

“The government urgently needs a growth plan for our country, which places investment in education at its heart”, continued Hunt, who also claimed that that the “key to getting Britain back on the road to prosperity” is “giving people the skills to earn more and participate in society”.

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