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With over a third of UK graduates overqualified for their current roles, latest findings show that these employees experience lower levels of job and life satisfaction.

As a result of its findings, the CIPD is calling for a rethink of UK skills policy, including an urgent need to improve careers advice and access to apprenticeships for young people.

The CIPD’s report ‘What is the scale and impact of graduate overqualification in the UK?’ revealed that the proportion of graduates in low/medium-skilled jobs has doubled over the past three decades and finds overqualified graduates have lower levels of job and life satisfaction, are less enthusiastic about their work and are more likely to want to quit, compared to well-matched graduates.

Lizzie Crowley, senior policy adviser at the CIPD, commented, “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.

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“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.

“In particular we need better careers advice and guidance in schools so young people can make more informed choices about what to study, whether they should go to university or seek an apprenticeship or a vocational qualification. There is also an urgent need to reform the Apprenticeship Levy, to incentivise employers to provide more apprenticeships for young people so they have a genuine alternative to university.”

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