Number of graduates in low skill work force rises in UK

According to a study by the UK's Office of National Statistics (ONS), an increasing number of degree students were taking up lower-skilled jobs. Over the past 18 years the number of degree students in blue collar jobs had increased from 9 per cent to 17 per cent.

Analysts say the increase could be attributed to the number of people with a degree growing a faster pace than the number of high-skill jobs available in the country after 1993, the year of the earliest comparable data, according to the report.

On an average, the earnings of one in five graduates were now less than that of people educated to A-level standard, while 15 per cent graduates earned less than those with GCSE or equivalent-level qualifications, according to the ONS report.

In 1993, around seven in 10 graduates (68.3 per cent) went into high-skilled jobs, such as engineers, doctors and accountants as against 56.6 per cent in 2010 - a fall of 11.7 per cent, according to the figures.

However, according to the report, people with the highest education qualifications tended to earn more and employees with a minimum of a degree earned, on average, about 85 per cent more than other workers.

However, the figure was 95 per cent more in 1993, pointing to the de-valuation over time of a degree with more people earning the qualification.