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Fewer than one in 10 employers definitely plan to reduce the number of 2009 graduates they hire next year, according to a new survey.

Graduate Careers Australia’s research – the release of which has been fast-tracked due to the uncertain labour market – found that nearly three-quarters of employers will definitely not cancel their graduate programs.

Only nine per cent of employers have solid plans to reduce their graduate intake in 2010, however 70 per cent of employers say they would consider reducing their numbers.

 GCA’s surveys identify that the top three selection criteria for graduates are: interpersonal and communication skills; passion, a knowledge of the industry, drive and commitment; and critical reasoning and analytical skills, problem solving ability, lateral thinking and technical skills.

“Work that is interesting and challenging” is the most important factor for new grads considering a potential employer, followed by good training opportunities, and the chance to develop new skills and achieve work/life balance, the survey found.

Generally, male students place more value on the extrinsic rewards of employment, such as above-average earnings, opportunities for advancement and the potential for international travel.

Female students are more interested in intrinsic rewards such as conducting interesting and challenging work, working for an environmentally sound company and making a contribution to society, the research says.

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