MORE than 20,000 graduates were out of work after leaving university last year, while thousands more took jobs as labourers, cleaners and road sweepers, figures show.
The numbers of young people forced to take jobs that do not necessarily need a degree has almost doubled in the past five years, the Higher Education Statistics Agency data reveals.
Overall, almost one in 10 university leavers – 20,620 in total – were assumed to be unemployed six months after completing their degree in 2010-11.
This is around the same proportion as the year before, but higher than around five years ago in 2006-7 when it stood at five per cent.
The statistics also look at the types of jobs and careers students were in six months after leaving university.
It reveals rising numbers in so-called “elementary occupations” such as labourers, hospital porters, waiters or waitresses.