Employment problems facing graduates

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Just last year the charity of Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HESCU) made a strong statement regarding graduate unemployment. It is suggested that graduate employment is rising compared to a few years ago. Without a doubt, there are numerous issues and problems which newly graduated young people are forced to tackle. The Guardian uncovered that there are difficulties with finding professional jobs. Graduates are more likely to be offered internships and placements rather than being accepted into graduate jobs immediately owing to assumed lack of experience, this is an unfortunate and developing trend. Joblessness is a major stumbling impediment gripping new and recent graduates. It is certainly problematic as well as daunting to realise that there is a possibility of the prospect of unemployment upon graduation. Job opportunities are few or unrelated to the degree obtained, this is common. As indicated, students who graduate now, face a more rigorous and unwelcome task of finding a desired professional job, whereas prospects were much better before the economic recession and arguably before the increase of tuition fees.

Graduates are being churned out year after year.

Graduates are being churned out year after year.

Figures reveal that recent graduates owe a greater amount of university loan debt, particularly now that the fees have tripled. Research showed that the debt for students at universities in the UK have risen up to sixty percent. Increasingly, it is the case that recent graduates are rejected and refused certain jobs due to lack of experience, this is perhaps one of the most important problems graduates are faced with. This is not only frustrating but it can be demoralizing as it causes graduates to feel inadequate despite their achievement. The effects that unemployment causes varies based on numerous factors; what is key however, is the fact that high unemployment prospects can cause disillusionment among graduates and it may even deter those considering studying for a degree. Despite promises made by the government, specifically the liberal democrat faction, students feel betrayed because the tuition fees hike could not be prevented. There is a growing concern that the root of graduate unemployment has not been resolved. In some extreme cases, the outrage could spill over into potential riots. It would appear that the issues faced by recent graduates are not high on the government’s policy priorities. Statistics and data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) highlighted that it is relatively less of a struggle for ‘older graduates’ to get a professional job than it is for one who is a recent graduate. However, the same organisation also displayed that those who graduated in the summer of 2013 were positively poised to secure employment. Furthermore, there is a claim that graduates earn more over their career life span, once they do manage to find a job.

Recent graduates are expected to earn more on average when compared to a non-graduate. It must be stated that, not all forecast for recent graduates is pessimistic and gloomy. Despite the fact that London holds the highest young persons unemployment rates; in general though, unemployment in the north-east of England surpasses the capital. It was only a couple of years ago news headlines announced that 1 in 10 students who graduate in England, remain unemployed for up to six months or more. The misery is exemplified and compounded in studies which uncover that the hospitality, sales and customer service occupations are repeatedly and at times reluctantly obtained by recent graduates.

Chiefly, one must also consider the monotonous factor of writing CV’s and cover letters and tailoring applications accordingly. It is true also that graduates will have to come to terms with the fact that what one earns is sometimes dependent on the university they attend. Most recent graduates have to acknowledge the idea of zero-hour contracts, unpaid internships and temporary jobs. Despite the government’s pledges for more jobs, they have failed to adequately accommodate the expectations of graduates. When counting the costs, it is apparent that most recent graduates move back to their family home, simply because they do not posses a job and therefore do not have the means to pay rent and bills. Those who do manage to find employment usually do not find their desired job roles. As a matter of fact more graduates consider boosting their employability chances by taking on further qualifications. Graduates tend to end up in non-graduate jobs, and some even accept unpaid internships out of desperation for the lack of an edifying job. Recent graduates are faced with a crisis of unemployment; in certain cases some remain unemployed for a few years after graduating. The growing theme of unemployment presents a startling problem for recent graduates. Relevantly, data from the ONS pages reveal that in 2013, students who graduated that summer were more likely to be employed and would effectively be in the labour force. It is believed that graduates find a job much quicker than non-graduates. What is also revealed from the data is that recent graduates have higher unemployment rates than older graduates. Evidently however, graduates are in a better position to work in high skills and well-paid job. Jobs that do not require the skills and knowledge gained from university are increasingly being undertaken by graduates. But as aforementioned, graduates generally are more likely to have high-skilled jobs. Those considered to be non-graduates tend to do manual and customer service jobs in other words lower-middle skills roles. Clearly this is an international issue, governments from the West and developing countries have to address this issue and they ought to do so fast.

No longer a Graduates World

No longer a Graduates World

One important point to mention is that the majority of employers are searching for skills rather than certificates. Essentially, due to the fact that so many young people attend university in these modern times, employers are constantly bombarded with CVs from graduates who have studied a varying amount of subjects. Employers are not short of CVs from graduates, they can pick and choose form hundreds at a time until they find that one in one hundred graduate. Students are coming out of college, going straight to university and leaving after three years of partying with nothing to show for it apart from thousands of pounds of debt and a certificate. But employers don’t just want certificates, they want skills too; a second language, a specialized hobby, something to make them stand out from the overwhelming crown of graduates. The current job marketplace is not a graduate workers marketplace. The number of graduate jobs available pales in comparison to the number of graduates In 2014 there was 1.7 million undergraduate students studying in the UK, this trend has stayed at around the same level since 2000 although, it peaked in 2011, the year before the tuition fee increase came into place. The marketplace is an employer’s marketplace and that will hit graduates where it hurts. Real wages for graduates will continue to be low because it is all too easy for employers to find a university graduate. In 2015 graduates coming out of university have to face the reality that they probably will not find employment for at least six months after graduating and if they do it will not be in a job that is associated with their degree.


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