According to the Money Charity, on average new graduates in England will owe at least £41,000 on finishing their studies, tripling since 2003. This stands at a third of the average outstanding mortgage debt.
The steep incline in student debt has accumulated from the £9,000 tuition fees, the increase in maintenance loans, and the planned cut back of maintenance grants.
The fear of each student is that normalising large quantities of debt right at the start of people’s financial independence risks setting them up to fail… (which) may affect later borrowing such as loans and mortgages.
Although this seems a rational concern to most, the government says the student loans system is fair and sustainable and that higher education boosts employability and earnings.
But is it worth the risk?
Surveys show that the number of jobs available for new graduates has dropped by 8% in a year, contrary to a 2015 survey showing a 13.2% increase in vacancies for graduates compared with the year before.
Figures show that the construction and engineering industries have seen two of the highest drops in graduate vacancies. Engineering vacancies for graduates were down 14% from 2,106 in 2015 to 1,820 whilst construction vacancies were down 11% from last year.
So far this year there has been a 13% rise in apprenticeships on last year, as the composition of the market is changing as employers invest more in school leaver programs and apprenticeships. Despite this investment the combined number of vacancies for graduate jobs and apprenticeships is still falling short from the previous year by 3%, showing more still needs to be done for the hope of the younger generation.
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