The British Veterinary Association has voiced concern over the rising number of graduates leaving their first job within the first three months due to poor management and an increasing trend towards temporary contracts.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has voiced concern over an increasing trend towards temporary contracts for new graduates following the release of figures from a survey by the Institute for Employment Studies.
The survey, undertaken on behalf of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), 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.
In reviewing the situation over recent years, it was discovered that the percentage of veterinary graduates leaving their first job within three months were:
- 7.7% for 2010 graduates
- 15.9% for 2011 graduates
- 42.6% for 2012 graduates – although this figure is likely to decrease over the next year as more of the 2012 cohort leave their first roles.
BVA president Peter Jones said: “Information in this survey and that conducted by the British Equine Veterinary Association recently [see Too many horse vets and not enough jobs, warns survey] is valuable evidence of how the changing environment affects those entering our profession and will feed into the ongoing 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 three 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.”
According to Mr Jones, poor management has long concerned the BVA and is what initially led the association to establish initiatives such as the Young Vet Network, the recent graduate guide and its contracts of employment campaign.
He said: “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,” he added.
Besides this unexpected increase the BVA believes the survey shows little change in other areas for recent graduates, other than a slight increase in the amount of time taken for new graduates to find their first job.
However, BVA members remain concerned about the impact of a new school opening, such as the one planned at the University of Surrey.
Mr 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.”