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BVA concern about job security for new graduates

British Veterinary Association | British Veterinary Association

3 min read Partner content

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is worried about an increasing trend towards temporary contracts for new graduates following the release of headline figures of a survey by the Institute for Employment Studies on behalf of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

The survey shows that the percentage of graduates leaving their first job within the first three months has significantly increased for those who graduated in 2012 and who have already left their first position. Amongst vets who graduated in 2010 and had already left their first job 7.7% had done so within the first three months; for 2011 graduates this figure is 15.9%; and for 2012 graduates it is currently 42.6%, although this percentage is likely to decrease over the next year as more of the 2012 cohort leave their first roles. The two main reasons given for leaving first jobs are poor management and temporary contracts.

Besides this unexpected increase the survey shows little change in other areas for recent graduates, although there has been a slight increase in the amount of time taken for new graduates to find their first job. The survey also revealed that over the 5 year period 16% fewer graduates found jobs in under 3 months.

BVA President Peter Jones said:

“Information in this survey and that conducted by the British Equine Veterinary Association recently is valuable evidence of how the changing environment affects those entering our profession and will feed into the on-going discussion at BVA on veterinary workforce issues.

“Perhaps most worrying is the statistic that the percentage of graduates leaving their first job within the first 3 months has significantly increased. The main reasons cited are poor management and temporary contracts. The trend towards temporary contracts is very worrying in terms of job security for those just starting out in our profession.

“Poor management has long concerned the BVA and is what initially led us to establish initiatives such as the Young Vet Network, the recent graduate guide and our contracts of employment campaign. We are currently working on building that support and we are in the process of widening the network of graduate support meetings to help with moral support and networking opportunities. We also supporting the RCVS’s Professional Development Phase to support new graduates in their first few years of practice and have produced a number of resources to assist with this process.”

While the results show little evidence of a major impact on job prospects from the increase in graduates since the opening of Nottingham Veterinary School, BVA members remain concerned about the impact of a new school opening next year such as the one planned at the University of Surrey.

Peter Jones continued:

“It is reassuring to see that overall trends are not changing significantly, however, the ease with which our graduates are getting jobs is changing. We will therefore be considering in some depth the impact that two, three or more new veterinary schools could have in the future. Rumours of yet more new veterinary schools elsewhere are a serious worry for the profession.

“Veterinary workforce issues will be a major item for discussion at our autumn Members Services Group meeting and we would encourage members to contribute via their regional representatives in the online BVA Community.”

Read the most recent article written by British Veterinary Association - Weiner get a sausage dog? Worried vets lay out the long and low of dachshund health issues after Crufts win

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