As UK policy strives to make access to higher education easier for all, is discrimination in employment practice still apparent?

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Reporting on research into two major employers recruiting to the financial services industry, this article draws on data collected from interns, recruitment professionals and graduate employees in their first year of employment. It poses a number of strategy- and outcome-related questions in an attempt to determine whether recruitment advisers are acknowledging a new breed of undergraduate with various skills and diverse histories. The research, involving two large employers, 172 trainees and their personnel managers, set out to explore the impact of life experiences on employment opportunities in the financial services industry. The evidence reveals that despite the fact that graduates entering the labour market have changed, becoming more diverse in terms of age, gender, previous education experience, interest and ambition, employers in the industry still recruit from the elite specifically in terms of their fast track to leadership programmes, known as internships.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Access to higher education
  • Class
  • Gender
  • Higher education
  • Learning in the professions
  • Policy issues
  • Professional change

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  • Liz Browne

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