By Max Clarke

Data published by the Office for National Statistics today show the number of unemployed graduates has doubled over the past 10 years, to nearly 1 in 5.

Data show that for young people aged 21 to 24 who have left education, having a degree provides only a marginal boost in employability: in the third quarter of 2010 the unemployment rate for those aged 21 to 24 with a degree was 11.6%, compared with 14.6% for those without a degree.

Commenting on today's ONS figures, a spokesperson from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said:

"Graduates face a challenging time and are having to work hard to maximise their chances of success. As part of our programme to get Britain working, we want employers to invest in students and graduates by offering work experience and internships that will develop their skills and boost their prospects. The AGR survey suggests that graduates who take up these opportunities will be well equipped to benefit as the labour market improves.”