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Graduate Labour Market Information

A knowledge of the labour market can help you answer questions such as:

  • What jobs are out there?
  • Who are the main employers in your field? 
  • What jobs are likely to be on the increase and where are they?
  • Which areas of work are easier to get into?
  • What skills do you need for now and the future?

Understanding what is going on with jobs and employers is called labour market information or intelligence.

Our industry reports offer a good starting point.

The labour market

The labour market is constantly changing and evolving as a wide range of factors can have an effect on each industry and town or city, such as:

  • new technologies (for example the automation of tasks)
  • infrastructure (e.g. the HS2 rail link)
  • politics and government policies (such as the UK leaving the EU)
  • the ageing population (creating opportunities in care, plus the need for replacement of retiring workers)
  • skills shortages in certain roles.

Also bear in mind that some industries are quite localised to a certain region, for example many banking and finance organisations have centres in London or Leeds.

Researching the industry you are interested in and being realistic about whether you are prepared to travel and relocate for work can help to focus in on suitable employers for your graduate career.

Below is more information about employment in the Bradford and the Leeds City region, plus further reading on researching the labour market to help with your career plans.

Graduate job options

If you are looking for graduate-level employment after graduation, these jobs generally fall into two categories:

  1. Graduate training schemes: where organisations specifically recruit graduates straight from university, and recruitment usually begins in the autumn term of your final year. Graduate schemes typically offer a structured career path, training and development and a good starting salary. These are highly competitive and can have a rigorous application process, including assessment centres and selection tests. Many graduate schemes require you to be prepared to move around the country (or even internationally) to experience different departments of the organisation as part of your training.

  2. Direct job entry: graduate jobs require a degree from the start, either because the degree gives you the specific knowledge and qualifications to perform the role, or because employers value the skills and experience gained from a university education. You will be expected to learn on the job, and there may be less formal training than with a graduate scheme. These roles are generally widely advertised on job sites and in the press, usually with a timescale of around four weeks, and are not restricted to recent graduates. The starting salary may be lower than with a graduate scheme, but it is likely it will rise as you progress and gain experience. 

Graduate schemes are more popular in certain industries, such as engineering and finance - a quick online search will give you an idea of what programmes are available in your subject area.

About Bradford

Bradford is one city covering four towns - Shipley, KeighleyBingley and Bradford. Within the four towns are 70 neighbourhoods and over half a million people. There are 15,000 businesses and an economy worth £8.3 billion, which is the 11th largest in the UK. Bradford is placed fifth for manufacturing and has branded itself the Producer City.

In Bradford, the biggest employers are the City Of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, the University of Bradford, Bradford College and the NHS, which together employ around a third of the workforce.

Morrisons also employ around 5000 people in Bradford, including at its headquarters in Thornbury.

The largest single sector is retail which employs 1 in 10 workers, and the opening of the Broadway retail and leisure development in November 2015 has added an estimated 2500 jobs in this area.  

Here's an overview of the Bradford District Labour Market.

Note: The bigger the employer, the more opportunities on offer and increased chances that a job might come up.

Key companies in Bradford

Many of these companies have offered job opportunities for Bradford graduates so are well worth investigating.

There are also some smaller Bradford-based companies that are worth considering, including:

Smaller organisations like these are more likely to offer direct-entry roles rather than graduate schemes.

Finding out more

Below are some links to further information about the labour market, both locally and nationally:

Bradford and the region

The national picture

Commercial awareness

  • See also our related information about gaining and demonstrating commercial awareness - skills and knowledge that can help you identify suitable jobs, assist you during the application process and inform your decision making in the role itself.