HE – is it worth it when one in ten graduates are working as Sales Assistants or Retail cashiers

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OK a bit flippant, but around one in ten graduates (8%) can be found entrenched in this type of work despite the hefty premium placed on HE studies – an analysis of ONS Labour Force Survey (2018) data (for; individuals aged 16-24, with HE level qualifications and in post for at least one year shows an abundance of HE qualifiers working in roles that are non-graduate level – notably; 39,000 in low level sales/related jobs and 38,000 in ‘other’ elementary service roles. In fact, in total almost one half (46%) of those with HE qualifications aged 16-24 are working in jobs not considered to be at managerial, professional or even associate professional level. This compares with around seven in ten of those with A levels/GCSEs but then many of these at least have a skilled trade under their belt at this age!