Despite their qualifications, employers say that many new graduates lack the professional skills that they are looking for.
The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is warning graduates to mind the "employability gap" as they prepare to enter the workforce.
While 73% of graduates expect employers to give them training to become managers, 75% of employers say they don't provide training to prepare employees for their first role in management.
The top five skills and attributes that employers are looking for in young recruits are taking responsibility, people management skills, being honest and ethical, problem solving and team-working. However, 55% of employers say they struggle to find graduates with these skills.
Ya Saffie Ceesay, a third-year student at University College Birmingham, said: "This employability gap is really worrying for graduates. I hadn't realised that I will need to invest in my own career development, I thought employers would take on this responsibility. Leaving university this summer and starting my job hunt, it's worrying to hear that I might not have the kinds of skills that employers are looking for, even after years of studying."
In fact, 90% of employers expect graduates to be responsible for their own career development. And ONS data shows that nearly half of all graduates (49%) end up taking non-graduate level roles as they struggle to match their skills with those expected by employers.
This, says CMI, has "an enormous impact on business productivity and on graduates' life prospects". To help young professionals close this "employability gap" CMI has launched the Future Leaders Network to help young professionals access development services and get their foot on the career ladder.
Reetu Kansal, chair of the Future Leaders Panel, said: "Both graduates and employers need to mind the employability gap if we're to satisfy the demand for work-ready graduates that employers are looking for. Our Future Leaders Network is a practical and flexible resource for any graduate or young professional taking responsibility for their own career and a ready-made network of peers to learn from and share experiences."