Leading employers for graduates 'offering starting salaries of up to £45,000'

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Some of the country's leading employers for university leavers are offering graduate starting salaries of up to £45,000, a report has found.

The likes of retailer Aldi and law firm Baker McKenzie are among those offering at least £40,000, while graduates taken on by Britain's top 100 employers can expect an average salary closer to £30,000 during the next year.

The figures were compiled for The Graduate Market in 2017 report, a study of the latest graduate vacancies and starting salaries at the country's best-known and most successful employers, conducted by High Fliers Research during December 2016.

Despite the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, Britain's top employers are expecting to expand their graduate recruitment for the fifth year running in 2017.

The report reveals that employers are stepping up their graduate vacancies by 4.3% this year, with extra jobs available in the public sector, at high street and online retailers, and at the major engineering and industrial companies.

Just eight organisations out of the 100 employers included within the study said that they would be reducing their graduate recruitment in 2017 because of the uncertainty caused by Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

The research highlights that the number of graduates recruited by the top employers has risen by more than 13% over the last three years, intensifying the competition between organisations to recruit the best graduates.

But more than 800 graduate positions were left unfilled in 2016 because final year university students from the "Class of 2016" turned down employers' graduate job offers or changed their minds about offers that they had accepted before graduation.

The research is based on a study of graduate recruitment at the organisations named as The UK's Top 100 Graduate Employers 2016 in a poll of 18,353 final year students to find which employer offers the best opportunities for graduates, and included the likes of AstraZeneca, Barclays, Facebook and McDonald's.