Exploring All Career Options In A Struggling Economy

During the last few months, news headlines have been littered with bad news in regards to employment, regularly highlighting the historically high youth unemployment in the UK, which currently stands at 22%. Therefore, it is not surprising that some of this negativity has begun to filter down into the everyday concerns of young adults.

With higher education costs increasing in the UK and a growing lack of faith in the education system amongst young people, the chances are opinions will only fall further. Especially if once having completed an expensive degree, graduates are still unable to find work. However, the question remains as to whether the feelings of young people are completely accurate; does the education they receive really let them down?

First off, there are a whole host of graduate training programmes available to students who have completed degrees, especially in certain key areas, such as science, engineering and finance.

Graduate schemes provide participants with training and fast-track access to the higher ranks of the organisation. There are schemes available to graduates offered by companies operating in a variety of sectors, not just navigation. These include graduate schemes for banks, insurance companies and marketing agencies.

Graduates Fail to Wow Recruiters

The Daily Telegraph reported last week that businesses in the UK are beginning to look towards school leavers as an alternative to recruiting graduates straight from University. The research survey carried out found that one in five recruiters prefer school leavers, believing that ‘university graduates had unrealistic expectations of working life'.

Interpersonal skills and, surprisingly, computer skills, were cited as the most common skill lacking from new graduates, along with basic numeracy and literacy skills. Instead, younger recruits coming straight from school and college were described as having a better attitude to work, timekeeping and productivity.

This is reinforced by a survey carried out by the Young Foundation; the social innovation research organisation. A study in October 2011 of big businesses in the UK including HSBC, Proctor and Gamble, Santander and KPMG found that there was common concern about the quality of graduates. Again, the skills lacking were listed as commercial awareness, written and spoken English to a high enough level, technical skills...and interpersonal skills.

5 Top Tips to Finding A Job

The UK job market is one of the most competitive in the world, and is particularly difficult at the moment with hundreds of candidates applying for every job. You only have to look at the list of graduate jobs UK -wide presented by experts like to know that there aren't enough jobs for all the applicants. However, that's not to say that you can't get ahead of the competition if you write a clever application and present yourself well at interview.

Here are a few tips:

1. Play Up Your Language Skills
Many British students only ever learn to speak English and do not have the advantage of learning another language. Having an extra language is a great benefit - if you do speak more than one, make sure that you draw attention to it

2. Have a Reason
Why do you want to live and work in the UK? Simply because it's a good place to live and most jobs pay quite well will not be enough. Make sure that you think hard about why in particular you've decided to come to the UK. One idea might be to try to tie it to your future plans. Do you always want to stay in the UK, or one day will you want to move back home and apply the skills you've learned in your country of origin? Signs of ambition and long term thinking can only help.

Improve your CV Whilst in School

Whether you are a first-time student studying for a degree or a mature student going back to university after working for a while, it is always worth doing whatever you can to improve your CV while studying. There are very good reasons for this, chief among which is that having work experience matters. When there are so many graduates and others going for every single job, you need to do what you can to stand out.

Plus, enhancing your CV now by developing your skills and getting some valuable experience in the world of work will stand you in good stead for the future - and you might even be able to apply the knowledge you've learnt studying in a practical setting, which will benefit your education, too.

While you are studying, it can be a very good idea to do some voluntary work. This is a good option for many students as there is a wide range of work choices available. For instance, you could become a charity fundraiser, developing your communication skills. Alternatively, you could spend time at an old people's home or a kids' club, or teach your native language as a foreign language - all occupations that will look great on your CV and develop your transferable skills.

Balancing Work and School

Balancing work and school is something that many of us have to do at some time in our lives, either as students in our late teens or later in life if we decide to go back into education. It can sometimes be a struggle to get the right balance of work and school, but it is manageable as long as you're organised. Read on to find out more about balancing work and school.


First of all, it really helps if you are able to prioritise. Which is the most important to you, work or school? If you're in education then it's likely that you're there to achieve a goal that will benefit you more in the long run, so this should probably be your priority. However, when you're at work you should make sure you're fully committed; keeping on top of school deadlines should help you focus more when you're actually at work.

Look for Flexible Work

Looking for flexible work can also help. For instance, many students look for leisure jobs or retail jobs as these often offer flexible shifts that you can fit around your school work. It's also likely that you'll need to look for part time work as a student or else you won't have time to fit everything in. This can help you to tailor your job search: looking for part time jobs in London and other locations helps you to focus on what you need while also giving you a starting point.

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