GRADUATES in Yorkshire can expect a starting salary of £15,000 to £18,000 when they begin work, according to new research.

The Graduate Employer Survey 2011 shows that more than 75% of employers in Yorkshire pitch starting salaries for university leavers at this level – compared with a UK average of £25,000.

The survey of national employers by graduate recruitment specialists Graduates Yorkshire and West Midlands-based Graduate Advantage, set out to establish realistic salary benchmarks and industry trends in the regional graduate recruitment market.

Previous surveys – weighted by London pay rates – suggested that graduates walked into a first job with a salary of £25,000 or more.

The survey found that more than 80% of the Yorkshire employers polled have recruited a graduate over the past 12 months.

A similar number of bosses are expecting to recruit a graduate over the next 12 months in permanent roles and both paid and unpaid internships.