Companies across the United Kingdom are planning to increase their graduate recruitment this year, according to employment experts, indicating an improving economy and growing confidence.

The employment research company Incomes Data Services (IDS) has found that employers plan to hire about 18% more graduates in 2019, following a small rise of just over 4% in 2017.

The manufacturing, service, and finance sectors are leading the way in taking on graduates as new employees. This summer alone, the finance sector is expecting a graduate recruitment surge of 42%. The manufacturing and service sectors are expected to increase their graduate recruitment by 22%.

“Recruitment prospects for this year’s crop of graduates look brighter than they have for a long while, as the number of job opportunities is set to rise sharply,” explains Nasreen Rahman, assistant editor at IDS.

Despite the boom in graduate recruitment, starting salaries for these newly-hired workers are not expected to increase.

“Graduate starting salaries are still effectively frozen, so those fortunate enough to be recruited onto a training programme will be paid less in real terms than their predecessors as employers take advantage of the competition for places. The class of 2019 will be paid less than the class of 2008,” Ms Rahman continued.

The trend among employers is to hire the graduates and then increase their salaries after they have shown their commitment and skill.

After a slow job market for several years, many graduates will be jumping at the chance of finding employment.