Former private school students dominate the best UK graduate jobs, according to a survey by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE).
The survey found that while 91 per cent of the population attended a state school, only 57 per cent of hired graduates were state educated.
Almost all of the 138 employers surveyed described diversity as a significant priority, but the ISE said more must be done to improve diversity.
“On almost every diversity measure, the average graduate intake does not reflect the graduating cohort or the UK’s population. People who attended state schools, women, first generation graduates and disabled people are all underrepresented on graduate programmes,” the ISE said.
Overall, the number of graduates hired increased 16 per cent compared with last year. However, stagnant wages mean graduates this year are £1,500 worse off than those who graduated just before the 2008 crash.
Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the ISE, said the number of graduate jobs on offer was encouraging, but warned of the lack of diversity.
““We must find the means to recruit the talent that exists within the breadth of the student body. This means changing the nature of recruitment and selection processes and putting less focus on Russell Group institutions or those that companies have historic links with,” he said.
“It is important to look at the wider social obstacles too. We can’t expect businesses to shoulder the full responsibility for an unequal society.”