By Daniel hunter

Almost half of employers (48%) plan to open up more positions to graduates over the next 12 months, with firms in Scotland, the North East and London the most likely to increase the number of graduates they hire, according to a survey from Allianz Insurance.

British bosses believe hiring graduates has benefitted their businesses (40%), with almost a third of employers surveyed (29%) reporting that graduate workers have performed better than expected at their jobs and at fitting into the company.

Just 17% didn’t feel that hiring graduates had been beneficial to business. A quarter (26%) of bosses also believe their graduate employees are progressing at a better rate than they expected. One in three employers praise graduates for being quick to learn (28%), enthusiastic about the industry and their job (24%) and full of bright ideas (16%).

The research reveals that during the course of a year, bosses invest £1,178 in training and mentoring for each graduate they employee, and almost 1 in 10 bosses say they invest over £5,000 a year per graduate through funding training courses or additional qualifications to help them progress. Employers also invest 384 hours of their time every year (8 hours a week) helping a graduate worker with their career development.

Despite performing well at work, the hunt for the right candidates is revealed to be a tricky business for employers, mostly due to graduates' relative lack of experience. Bosses feel many fail to get the job because they don’t have practical experience (39%) and nearly 1 in 5 (17%) said candidates lack basic job application and interview skills. Deciding on the best candidate because of the number of applicants also proves challenging for 26% of employers.

Commenting, Amanda Haig, HR Manager at Allianz Insurance said: "Many businesses would benefit from the enthusiasm and creative ideas graduates can bring to the workplace. While many graduates may need support and training to strengthen their confidence and capabilities, our research shows they are quick to learn and exceed employers’ expectations. The search for interesting and varied work is just as important to graduates at this stage of their career and positioning the company as meeting this need is vital if employers want to secure the best graduates for their business."

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