ARCHITECTURE graduates were the most successful at getting jobs five years after leaving the University of Bolton, figures show.

But the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) said a combination of lockdown and recession will present graduates with a challenging labour market for years to come.

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show 97 per cent of architecture, building and planning graduates from the the University of Bolton class of 2012 were working or still studying five years later. This was the highest of all degree subjects at the university.

In addition, the HESA figures show architecture graduates also had the highest earnings five years after graduating from the University of Bolton, with an average income of £33,600.

Across Britain, languages graduates had the lowest average rate of employment or further study five years after finishing their course.

The ISE said the success of some subjects and institutions can be explained by strong vocational pathways and by developing highly-valued skills such as numeracy.

Tristram Hooley, at the organisation, said: “Covid-19 is clearly making a big difference to the graduate labour market. Research shows that the number of vacancies is down by about 12 per cent and that many students should expect to be interviewed, inducted and begin working online.”

“So far employers have continued to invest in graduates, albeit in somewhat lower numbers. But, the mix of lockdown and recession is likely to mean that graduates are going to be facing a challenging labour market for a number of years to come.”

Despite the variations seen across Britain, the Office for Students said it is good to see higher education continuing to have significant benefit for most students in their employment prospects.

Chris Millward, director for access and participation at the OfS, said: “The labour market is likely to become more challenging in the aftermath of coronavirus, so it is more important than ever that higher education equips graduates with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the workplace, whatever and wherever they study.

“Universities and colleges will be central to the recovery of local areas throughout the country, helping people of all ages to up-skill and re-train, and supplying businesses and public services with the creative and adaptable people they will need to succeed.”

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We want all university students to benefit from a high quality education and go on to pursue successful careers, delivering value for money for students and taxpayers.”

She added that a Government-commissioned report last year showed 34% of graduates were in non-graduate jobs and the Government was committed to its manifesto pledge to tackle low quality courses.