Student employment confidence stays stable in May

Jun 10, 2021 | Sector & policy

ISE’s Tristram Hooley reports on the current level of confidence in the student employment market.

In last month’s ISE Confidence Poll we reported that student recruitment was bouncing back after the slump that we saw in 2020. We also explored student employment confidence, arguing that how positive people were feeling about the future would make a difference to their hiring decisions.
In a world in which people feel that there are lots of opportunities for young people, in which they believe that their organisation is growing, that the worst of the Covid crisis is over and that the worst of the economic crisis is over, people are more likely to increase their hiring.

Confidence is a more sensitive measure than hiring numbers. We can expect that people’s confidence will go up and down as they hear new information, while your organisations hiring levels are more difficult to change. In other words a confidence measure can tell us which way the wind is blowing and whether people are worrying about Rishi Sunak’s willingness to extend lockdown or excited by forecasts of economic growth.

Confidence stays stable

Because we asked about confidence in April and in May we can compare it and consider how ISE members level of confidence is changing.

Student employment confidence in April and May

In general responses follow a similar pattern this month to last month. ISE members are positive and getting more positive about their own organisation’s growth over the next three years. They are also positive about the Covid-19 crisis coming to an end, although their confidence about this has declined since last month.

However, they are more negative about the idea that there are enough opportunities for young people, and this has also declined since last month. They continue to be negative about the economy, but there is some improvement in confidence from last month.

In general ISE members are in a bit of a holding pattern. They are neither very positive nor very negative about the future. Overall, the level of confidence is similar to last month with some things improving and other worsening slightly.

We will continue to watch how confidence develops over the next few months to see if we are generally on an upward or downward trajectory.

Read more ISE research

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