36% of grads in UK are overqualified

08 Nov 2022

New research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows 36% of UK grads are overqualified for their roles, with an increasing number staying in low-skilled jobs. The report entitled: ‘What is the scale and impact of graduate overqualification in the UK?’ analyses how graduate trends have changed over the last three decades and the job quality of overqualified grads.

What do the findings say? 

The CIPD report shows the number of graduates working in low/medium-skilled jobs has doubled in 30 years, and these grads have less job and overall life satisfaction, are less keen about their role and will more likely want to leave, compared to grads well suited for their positions, Business Leader reports.

  1. The results show 54% of overqualified grads are either very satisfied or satisfied with their current jobs, compared to 72% of well-matched graduates.
  2. A total of 56% of overqualified grads are satisfied with their lives, compared to 69% of well-matched graduates. 
  3. Some 25% of overqualified grads are either likely or very likely to voluntarily leave their job in the next year, whilst just 17% of well-matched grads said the same. 

The need for change

As well as calling for amendments to be undertaken to skills policy, the report also highlights the need for better quality careers advice in schools. Reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy are also suggested to encourage employers to offer more apprenticeships to young workers. Lizzie Crowley, Senior Policy Adviser at the CIPD, said of the report: “While graduate-level qualifications are undoubtedly essential in many roles and industries, the significant growth of graduates in non-graduate jobs is damaging for individuals, employers, and the economy. A growing number of graduates are stuck in low-skilled jobs, while employers find it harder to motivate and retain overqualified graduates, undermining workplace productivity.” She added: “Successive Governments’ focus on boosting the supply of higher-level qualifications to the labour market has failed to create nearly enough of the high-skill, high-wage jobs that the country needs. There needs to be a fundamental rethink on UK skills policy as part of a new focus on industrial strategy, to create more high-skilled and quality jobs across the economy.”