Despite the current economic uncertainties, many companies are wary of withdrawing entirely from the graduate recruitment market, an expert has said.

According to Elspeth Farrar, communications director for the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), firms fear that such a move would result in a loss of student "confidence, interest and profile on campus".

She said: "This year, by the time [the credit crunch] really began to hit, a lot of companies had already got fairly well through their recruitment and selection processes.

"And most organisations say that they are going ahead, they are honouring any offers and expecting to carry on with recruitment."

Ms Farrar added that some organisations got their "fingers burned" during previous recessions as a result of stopping recruitment completely.

Earlier this month, research published by the Hotonline Network revealed that jobseekers in the UK remain positive despite reports of a labour market slowdown, with 84 per cent of candidates questioned reporting they feel they are either more likely or equally as likely to find a job this year as they were in 2007.