Most graduates 'in non-graduate jobs', says CIPD
The majority of UK university graduates are working in jobs that do not require a degree, with over-qualification at "saturation point", a report claims.
Overall, 58.8% of graduates are in jobs deemed to be non-graduate roles, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
It said the number of graduates had now "significantly outstripped" the creation of high-skilled jobs.
The CIPD said the report's findings should be a "a wake-up call".
"The assumption that we will transition to a more productive, higher-value, higher-skilled economy just by increasing the conveyor belt of graduates is proven to be flawed," said Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, the professional body for human resources managers.
The report found the issue was leading to "negative consequences" including employers requesting degrees for traditionally non-graduate roles despite no change to the skills needed for the role.
As a result, it found graduates were now replacing non-graduates in roles and taking jobs where the demand for graduate skills was either non-existent or falling.
The trend was particularly prominent in construction and manufacturing sectors where apprenticeships have previously been traditional routes into the industry, the report found.
Mr Cheese said that in many cases the "skills premium" graduates had "if it exists at all" was being "simply wasted".
The CIPD is calling for a "national debate" over how to generate more high-skilled jobs.
It said government and organisations both needed to act to help graduates make better use of their skills, but said the report also highlighted that for young people choosing an apprenticeship instead of university could be a "much better choice".
A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman said: "We are providing the right mix of university places and apprenticeships to ensure more people have the opportunity to advance their careers and businesses to get the skills they need to grow."