Over-qualification and skills mismatch in the graduate labour market

Date: 18 August 2015

In recent decades the UK’s higher education sector has expanded rapidly, but the increase in the number of graduates has not been matched by an increase in high-skilled jobs. Many graduates are finding themselves working in jobs that would in previous generations have been filled by non-graduates. Comparisons across Europe suggest that graduate over-qualification is a particular problem for the UK, with 58.8% of UK graduates in non-graduate jobs – a percentage only exceeded by Greece and Estonia. The CIPD commissioned this report to examine the available evidence on the extent to which graduates are over-qualified and over-skilled for the current labour market and the ways in which the labour market and occupations may have adapted to the growing supply of graduates.

Craig Holmes Ken Mayhew

Employment, Equity and Growth

Over-qualification and skills mismatch in the graduate labour market


Type: paper

Holmes, C. & Mayhew, K. (2015). 'Over-qualification and skills mismatch in the graduate labour market'. London: CIPD.


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