PUBLIC SECTOR PAYS GRADUATES BETTER

PUBLISHED: 10:33 28 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:34 06 May 2010

GRADUATES starting jobs in the public sector will for the first time earn higher salaries than their peers working for private businesses this year, new research is suggesting. University leavers with jobs in the Civil Service or the NHS now earn very co

GRADUATES starting jobs in the public sector will for the first time earn higher salaries than their peers working for private businesses this year, new research is suggesting.

University leavers with jobs in the Civil Service or the NHS now earn very competitive wages, with salaries averaging £21,445 for the public sector.

This was £1,400 more than the average salary for graduates starting work in the private sector, the report from Hay Group management consultancy found.

The study also warned that graduate pay rose more slowly than the average national salary increases in 2006.

Rob McPherson, who conducted the Hay Group study, which involved 550 UK employers, said: "The real surprise for this year's graduates is that public sector jobs are now paying more than the private sector.

"As we see a trend towards increasing professionalisation in the public sector, management training schemes in public bodies such as the NHS and the Civil Service are paying graduates very competitive wages."

Overall, the average graduate starting salary was £20,306 this year.

But the study warned that wage inflation for graduates was not keeping pace with rises for other workers.

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