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This section of the website is devoted to live Q&A sessions with our own advisers or external employers. We will promote the Live Q&A’s in advance and you can also access session archives below.

The Impact of COVID-19 on student and graduate opportunities

As a student or graduate, you will no doubt be considering the impact the global pandemic is having upon graduate opportunities and placements. Therefore, to keep you informed, we have created this page which will feature regular updates on the student and graduate recruitment market during these unprecedented times, as well as advice on what steps you can take.

Please keep checking back; this page will be updated regularly with the latest information available to us.

26th May Update

Graduate Job Market and Placements

The impact of the global pandemic whilst still unknown has currently resulted in a 24% fall in all general national job postings. The situation is rapidly changing and it is still too early for some businesses to determine the true impact on their recruitment plans. Many employers are still exploring options and looking at short to medium term plans in terms of job posting, recruitment and offering roles to students or graduates.

The current situation is showing that the fall in vacancies appears to have stabilised and they do not appear to be falling further.  General vacancy data shows a general decline in job postings of 57%, however the Institute of Student Employers have indicated that new graduate roles are only down by 12%.  So the good news is that current possibilities are significantly greater for graduates than non-graduates.

A now-familiar set of patterns by sector continues, food preparation & service, hospitality & tourism and beauty & wellness have experienced the largest drop in vacancies with healthcare, particularly nursing, as well as IT and professional services faring the best.  Healthcare and social work recruitment continues and some analysis even signifies the number of positions increasing. Clearly, it is acknowledged that allied health professionals have a crucial role to play in the rehabilitation of those who have been ill, but the UK is still showing a shortage of these professions.  There are also reports that police recruitment has held up well, with the Police Now National Detective Programme still open for applications. 

Overall, current data, whilst still showing uncertainty, also demonstrates that the sectors experiencing less disruption are heavy recruiters of graduates.  However, research is also indicating that recruitment has reduced significantly in smaller to medium organisations rather than larger organisations.   This may mean that there will be less graduate and student opportunities in smaller organisations over the coming year.

Some employers have indicated that they may stagger their annual graduate intake and could recruit in the autumn if trading conditions have improved. Some start dates for new hires will be delayed. Around a third (31%) of employers anticipate delaying the start dates for new hires. Dates vary, but most are just pushing start dates back a month or two, with a minority shifting start dates to early 2021.

Many businesses believe that once lockdown is lifted it will not take them long to resume operations and they are clear that there is still demand for graduate level talent and a need for higher level skills.

Our Own CareerLinc Vacancy Analysis

As the bespoke Careers Service for the University of Lincoln, we promote student and graduate opportunities via our CareerLinc platform. This week the number of vacancies uploaded to CareerLinc fell by 18% compared to the same week last year.  Graduate Opportunities represent the highest proportion of vacancies this week. However, many graduate schemes had been extended until the end of May/June and some companies are now inviting students to register their interest in 2021/22 schemes.

A high percentage of listings come under the category of IT and Technology, with some IT businesses still recruiting for placements but with alternate interview and on-boarding arrangements.  There has been a rise in the number jobs in Finance, Law, Marketing and Teaching. The most significant difference from last year is the fall in the number of hospitality and retails roles, most likely resulting from the inability for businesses to operate during the pandemic or having to reduce staffing

Larger organisations continue to represent the highest number of opportunities listed.  Some smaller businesses are now starting to advertise positions which could be indicative of companies starting to adapt to the current situation and finding new ways to operate during COVID-19.


The fragile economic state is temporary...

The job market will change as we move beyond the current ‘lockdown’.

As graduates you are more adaptable than you may think.  It is important that you remember just what you have to offer businesses in these challenging times. As a generation of graduates who have had to adapt to new ways of learning and assessment during your degree, you will have developed a wealth of technical and soft skills that will be valuable to the workforce of the future. So consider:

  • Diversifying the range of companies and roles that you exploring
  • A skills-based approach to job hunting, taking jobs which will build key skills for your future
  • Ensuring that you have a visible digital presence to showcase your talents to prospective employers
  • Networking effectively using social media platforms (such as LinkedIn) to connect with prospective employers and contacts to unlock hidden opportunities.

Right now, many recruiters are still hiring graduates across a far broader range of industries. UK employers do not recruit by degree discipline: the ISE annual student recruitment survey 2019 showed that 86% of employers do not focus on the course a student studied.

What you should do now?

If you already have a graduate or placement offer starting this summer or September, it is important that you remain in contact with your employer to understand any implications of the current situation.

The University of Lincoln partners with companies to offer graduate internships. These can be sourced by you directly and if you want to work for a particular company, virtually or remotely at this time, you may be eligible for a funded internship.  For further details, visit the Internships advice section of our website.Advice on Internships

New opportunities to meet and engage with businesses through virtual Careers fairs, online events and virtual internships could provide opportunities to engage with companies in a different way.  A new initiative partnered with the University of Lincoln is #ISOLATIONINTERN, a new site dedicated to providing paid remote internship opportunities to students and graduates.#IsolationIntern

The Careers Service is continuing to source and advertise part time roles, placement opportunities and graduate positions, all advertised on CareerLinc.  Therefore keep checking for live job adverts, update your contact details and set up email job alerts.CareerLinc

For those employers who are continuing with recruitment many are changing their recruitment methods online.  These include application screening, telephone interviews, online assessment centres. The Careers team can support with all aspects of application via our remote services. Accessing Application Support

Consider continuing to build your skills throughout this time with our top tips on how to Boost Your Employability from Home. BOOST YOUR EMPLOYABILITY FROM HOME

We know that the current climate may be causing you some concerns with regards to your career, and it may be that you need to review your plans - you can still gain support via our services, all of which are available remotely, via the button below; we are here to help you. Accessing Careers Support

If you would like to listen to a pre-recorded session outlining the information you have read on this page, please click the button below. Pre-recorded session: The Impact of Covid-19 on student and graduate opportunities