Milkround’s latest insight into the school leaver market

Our Insight Breakfast

On Wednesday 15th November, Milkround offered our latest insight into the school leaver market. At our annual Insight Breakfast, we launched the findings from our most recent report, the School Leaver Candidate Compass 2017.


Lizzy Hunt and Ellie Green from Milkround’s marketing team share our report findings


It was a pleasure to be joined by The Prince’s Trust, who offered their own insight into social mobility in the school leaver market and how they actively tackle this, as well as how we as employers can all do more.


Russell Knight from The Prince’s Trust shares insight into student social mobility


We were also joined by two amazingly talented apprentices from Jaguar Land Rover and Grant Thornton – thank you Lucy and Holly! It was great to hear the positive impact apprenticeships can have on our young people and how these individuals have smashed barriers and challenged misconceptions held by some of their peers.

Key Findings from the Report

Our survey received over 3,200 responses, with the vast majority of these students studying AS or A Levels currently.

73% of school leavers believe the GCSE reform is a negative change. A third worry that employers will not understand the new system.

70% of our respondents do not believe it is crucial to have a university degree in order to have a successful carer.

98% say they are primarily told about the university as a career choice in school or college.

19% of our respondents who received free school meals had differing views on their future careers than their non-free school meal counterparts.

Download the report.

Students don’t feel clued up on STEM careers

A third of students feel underinformed about STEM careers, according to new research carried out by Atomik Research on behalf of Centrica. Nearly half of the 1,063 students between the ages of 14 and 18 could not name a female role model in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.

Furthermore, nearly a third of male teachers (29%) believe that STEM careers are more suited to boys than girls, compared to 16% of female teachers. 23% of the teachers surveyed do not feel confident or do not know if job opportunities exist for girls going into STEM careers.

Alongside this,  research by L’Oréal found that on average, 55% of 16-18 year old students are not studying science. Of those, 40% said it was because they don’t think science would lead to a career they would want to do, and just under a third (29%) lack confidence in their science skills.

Combining these revelations highlights the continued existence of both a skills and gender gap within STEM subjects and careers. The next question is: what is the solution to and how can employers help?

L’Oréal has unveiled a new campaign that aims to encourage female role models to visit local schools and talk to primary-school aged children to help inspire the next generation of scientists. By informing young people about the vast array of opportunities that STEM careers could offer them, it is hoped more students, particularly females, can see their own potential in these industries.

Paul Gilliam, HR Director – UK & Ireland at L’Oréal, highlights how important education on science careers is, alongside supporting women already in STEM industries to ensure they are reaching their full potential and can be guiding lights for young girls.

“It is important that we proactively encourage women who are looking to enter into science professions and support those that are already there,” he says. “We believe fostering female scientists of the future starts much earlier in life, which is why, to mark the tenth anniversary of For Women in Science, we have linked with the Inspiring the Future programme, run by UK charity Education & Employers, to inspire the next generation of scientists by encouraging both boys and girls to take an interest in science at primary school age.

“Companies have a responsibility to give back to the community and we truly believe that by encouraging more scientists into schools and opening children’s eyes to the range of careers that science leads to, we can help make scientific jobs feel both exciting and attainable and ultimately achieve a better gender balance in science.”

Gender has been a hotly debated topic in recent months; but then it has always been. It must continue to be spoken about and acted upon to ensure equal gender representation and pay in all industries.

When it comes to STEM, employers within these industries can help to educate young people to open their eyes to the vast opportunities available to them. Engaging with young people throughout their school life may be a heavy time constraint, but this technique can be incorporated within your school leaver or graduate recruitment process.

School leavers, students and recent graduates care about social responsibility and equality. By showing them you too are invested in this in all levels of your company, from recruitment to the continued nurturing of employee talent, you will attract a diverse range of top youth talent.

For suggestions on how we could work alongside you to create bespoke campaigns that can advertise your job openings, or to raise awareness of opportunities in specific industries such as STEM through events or similar, please contact

Female graduates’ low expectations contribute to early gender pay gap

New research by Milkround has revealed that over a third of female graduates expect a starting salary of £20,000, falling £10,000 short of the median UK graduate wage of £30,000 per year.

This, coupled with The Department of Education’s Longitudinal Education Outcomes findings, shows that the gender gap exists from the beginning of graduate careers, and even increases over time. In fact, five years into their careers, women earn on average £6,500 less than their male counterparts.*

We believe it is pivotal that graduate employers are dedicated to doing their utmost to tackle this.

Milkround’s Head of Marketing, Francesca Parkinson, highlights that: “Nearly 85 per cent of female graduates do not know their own value, which may have a knock-on effect in their future earnings. As the UK’s largest graduate advice website, we feel a responsibility to empower women in the workplace, helping them to realise their worth and build career confidence”.

As graduate employers, there is much you can do to ensure female graduates know their own value and possess the confidence to articulate this. By seeing that their employers accurately recognise their value and actively  work to erase the gender pay gap, graduates will feel confident that they will receive the salaries they deserve.

Raising awareness of the gender pay gap and its implications as a matter of social responsibility is, of course, a priority. However, only through conscious action that aligns with values of equality can we implement change.

The application process

As a graduate employer, you will know that many job openings will offer ‘competitive’ salaries. You may offer them yourself. Most graduates will embark on their own research as to what range ‘competitive’  consists of for a specific role or sector, but will sometimes set their salary expectations a little lower than the average in a bid to make themselves appear more desirable.

As highlighted by Milkround’s research, this is incredibly detrimental to women, who already face issues of inequality in the workplace.  By being clearer about what sort of salary you will be able to offer, you ensure graduates have realistic expectations and are not undercutting themselves from the beginning when it comes to salary expectations.

Be open to salary negotiations

As you would expect, it is unlikely a new graduate will have negotiated salary previously. It is important to remember this if a graduate with a job offer does not navigate the conversation in quite the same way you may be used to. Of course, this does not mean that it is acceptable for them to raise the point without politeness, accurate research, and proof of their exceptional skills. Simply put, female graduates should feel they can confidently talk about salary.

As an employer, it is key to establish a good relationship and appear approachable to your potential employee so that they can feel confident raising questions not only about the role itself, but about their salary expectations. Often, graduates will give a range for their salary expectations (for example, “somewhere between £23,000 and £25,000”) because they might assume by specifying only one figure, an employer will consider them too demanding. This fear of asking “too much too soon” contributes to the continued existence of the pay gap, and is commonly attributed to women more than men.

Be constructive and offer feedback and recognition

If a recent graduate asks for a raise following an acceptable period of time in your employment, or their salary expectations are higher than you anticipated prior to accepting a job offer, acknowledge that you understand the points they have voiced. Hearing that a raise is not possible will be disheartening, but if employers make it clear that an employee’s request has been thoroughly considered, the response  should be accepted and taken onboard. If you can, use data to reiterate your pay package is on par with the average.

Milkround continually see highly qualified and enthusiastic candidates; our recent Society Awards was host to a number of female students with incredible talent. As a result, it is alarming that young women not only have the glass ceiling to contend with, but also a ‘lead floor’. Without active employer influence, female graduates will remain wedged between the two.

We must continue to raise graduate confidence so they understand their own value and can articulate this. Far from feeling entitled, graduates need to know that even at entry level, they will be respected and listened to during salary negotiations. Maintaining self-worth, especially in female graduates, ultimately forms a self-aware workforce where individuals know their own value. Graduate employees should be able to trust that this is recognised by their employers, who are not only aware of the existence of the gender pay gap, but actively counteract it throughout the recruitment process.

If you’d like to learn more about our research into graduate salary expectations and the gender gap and the graduate market generally, download our whitepaper.

To speak to us about job postings or creating a tailor-made campaign, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0333 0145 111, or drop us an email at We pride ourselves on our graduate knowledge, because it comes directly from our audience!


Young workers at risk of making snap decisions about their careers

Did you know that Snapchats from friends make young people question their jobs?

We’ve delved into the minds of young people to find out how social media causes career fear in students and graduates.

The research has shown that young people at work run the risk of hindering their careers by paying too much attention to Snapchats posted by friends about their jobs. 95 per cent of those surveyed admitted that they felt envious of some part of their friends’ jobs, with most stating that others’ travel opportunities with work is one of the main instigators of the green-eyed monster.

And social media has a lot to answer for when it comes to that jealousy. 37 per cent of those surveyed clearly cited social media as the source of their career envy. In fact, our opinions of how our friends are doing in their entire lives is shaped by what we see on social media with over one third stating that positive social media posts make them believe others are doing well.

Snapchat has been named the social media network that invokes the most feelings of anxiety around careers, with short disappearing stories that leave lasting impressions.


Ranking Social Media Channel
1. Snapchat
2. LinkedIn
3. Twitter

Dr. Sarah Parry, clinical lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University said: “This career anxiety is likely to come from an initial internal feeling of dissatisfaction, which is then exacerbated by these social media posts.

“60 per cent of students and graduates are still unsure of what they want to do in their careers. This insecurity is easily transformed into jealousy when they see continuous posts of what they perceive is someone who has it ‘all figured out’.”

Money is also a major reason for envy, with 46 per cent stating that their friends’ salaries are the main reason for their jealousy; with social posts about holidays and things they buy leading them to believe that they are earning less than their peers or friends.

Dr. Parry, whose clinical work focuses on experiences of dissociation and developing wellbeing services for young people, said: “It is important for students and graduates to know that these feelings are completely natural as social media becomes more and more a part of everyday life, and that they are not alone. ”

For more from Dr. Susan Parry on how to recognise and combat career anxiety, visit

For more information about Milkround and our research, get in touch!


25 Jobs Before Turning 25…


Finding a job as a recent graduate is hard, and even harder when you’re not sure which sector you want to start a career in. We often hear stories of graduates not being loyal to companies – only staying for a couple of years before leaving to pursue a new role because they just don’t know which sector they’d like to work in. Emma Rosen, graduate of the University of Exeter with a degree in History & International Relations and a MA in Applied Security Strategy, is taking on the challenge of trying out 25 different jobs before she turns 25. Here’s why she’s doing it:

“Four months ago, I made the decision to leave my ‘job for life’ with the Civil Service in favour of an experimental idea: trying 25 jobs before I turn 25, over the course of a year.

This is no gap year, but a radical sabbatical aimed at not only finding my ideal career, or careers, but also to better understand the challenges, desires and demands of many of my peers – the so-called millennial generation – with the aim of advising on future workplace trends.

That was how the challenge started – aimed at millennials by a millennial.

However, I soon realised that the issue of an unfulfilled workforce was not as generationally-defined as I had first thought. Since featuring in The Telegraph, among other publications, I have had a huge response from people of all ages, from school-age teenagers to those near retirement, alongside hundreds of millennials.  

I am currently six jobs in and my goals are now threefold: to get a better understanding of what I want to do in the long run, to advocate for better careers education for young people and also to promote career fulfilment for those already in the workplace. At the strategic level, a happy and fulfilled workforce is a resilient workforce, that is able to withstand the economic and political shocks that we are experiencing with increasing frequency.

So how am I trying 25 careers in one year? I am spending anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks working with inspirational organisations within each field, which I have contacted through a mixture of networking, cold-calling and my partnership with Milkround.

I would, therefore, be very grateful for any offers of work shadowing/experience in the UK, or abroad, in any of the industries I have yet to cover, including:

  • International Development
  • International Security
  • Primatology
  • TV & Film production
  • Conservation
  • Marine Biology
  • Think Tank
  • Hotel Critic
  • Disaster/Crisis Management
  • Homewear/Fashion Buyer
  • Entrepreneurial start-up (preferably with a social impact focus).

Two weeks is, of course, not a substantial enough period of time to fully get to grips with a sector. This is why I am also looking to interview passionate senior individuals within each industry, to learn from their experience and to gain a more holistic insight into what it’s like to work within each.

What I can offer to an organisation or induvial in return, is writing about my experiences on my website and through my partnership with Milkround, which would be a great way to promote working with you. It would demonstrate to potential future candidates that you take their career fulfilment and happiness seriously.”

You can view Emma’s website and blog here:

Think you know Millennials?


We’ve delved into the minds of 1,000 millennials to discover their views on topics from future work prospects, to travel, to buying a home.

Join us on the 9th September at our new home in the Blue Fin Building to hear our findings.

We will also be revealing the results of our annual School Leavers Career Confidence Report – so come along to find out how 2,100 school leavers feel towards their career prospects.


  • 9th September 2016
  • 9.00 am – 12. 30 pm
  • Blue Fin Building, London

To RSVP, fill in the form below or email by 24th August.

Merry Christmas!

We’re wishing everyone a VERY Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We’ve had such a busy and exciting 2015, we can’t wait to see what 2016 has to bring…

It’s been great to work with all of our clients this year, and we look forward to working with you again in January.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

From Degrees to Careers- where do graduates work?


front cover

Today, we revealed the results of our latest research piece partnered with Ri5 an Insight Breakfast. We offered employers, agencies and universities an insight into candidate expectations when setting out on their subject-related career dreams, to the harsh reality of what it takes to succeed ‘From Degree to Career’.

The survey asked 2,500 of our graduates who left university in 2014 or 2015 for their career paths when they graduated from university together with the internship opportunities that were available to them and the skills students are (or are not) gaining at university.

With just 11 per cent of those who completed an internship in law being offered a returning role in the business, it’s clear that with such stiff competition for graduate positions, alternate sectors must remain a realistic solution to entering full-time employment upon graduation.

In contrast, 61 per cent of savvy Engineering students who completed an internship (52 per cent) did so in an alternative industry to their chosen course subject – keeping their options open.

The report also looked at the number of graduates who were turning down job offers, and the reasons why. Out of all the respondents, 28 per cent were offered more than one job and had to decline some offers. Nearly 10 per cent of these had turned down four or more opportunities. Most claimed that it wasn’t the right role for them, but a lot of respondents commented that the location of the role played a part in their decision.

Two in five students (42 per cent) have revealed that upon graduating from university, they choose their careers for money.

With 8 per cent of the UK’s reluctant graduates opting for roles in Retail, Buying & Merchandising, and 6 per cent securing a role in Sales over their desired career paths, perhaps the opportunities for commission is too tough to resist.

Francesca Hall, Senior Marketing Manager at Milkround comments: “With a rising trend of candidates seemingly holding all the cards when it comes to selecting a career; 42 per cent of our audience having turned down at least one graduate job offer, the pressure is on for employers to ensure their offering is competitive.

 “19 per cent of candidates have even declined up to three, four or even five graduate job offers before making their final selection. Employers must be sure to keep their future talent engaged, or be at risk of losing them to a proactive competitor.”

 The full Degrees to Careers report is published and hosted exclusively here.


Milkround’s new Brand Ambassadors

Bradn Ambassadors 2015

Milkround is under-way with preparations for the busy September Freshers season. We can now give a great big tick against hiring our new Brand Ambassadors!

From September, 20 students will be representing Milkround across some of the UK’s top universities, such as Exeter, Bristol, Leeds, Warwick and Newcastle (plus many more).

They will be getting involved by attending Freshers and Careers Fairs, signing students up to Milkround, spreading the word about the vacancies and opportunities we have onsite, and offering employability advice to their peers.

If you have any questions about the work we do on campus or how we attract candidates to our site, just give us a call or drop us an email.

So, if you’re ever on a university campus and see a Brand Ambassador in a bright blue t-shirt, make sure you say hi!