The reality of graduate unemployment

A parent writes to the Times [£]:

I have yet to hear any of the political party conferences say something positive about youth unemployment, especially about graduates. They seem to have been forgotten, with almost 19 per cent of graduates unemployed and youth unemployment overall running at nearly 21 per cent.

My daughter has been unemployed for a year now. She has three A levels at grade A, a degree and a master’s from one of the top five universities in Britain and, after applying for many jobs in the museum and art world, has never been offered an interview. Almost all the applications she sends do not even get a reply and because many of the employers use an internet-based system for applications which does not allow for correspondence, she is unable to get any feedback. Her experience of some art and auction institutions also seems to suggest a high degree of nepotism.

She has had many unpaid internships and is currently volunteering for a charity. However, she would like a proper paid job and so has reluctantly set her sights lower. She recently applied for a sales assistant role at a national retail store. This involved a long group interview, with tasks and presentations. She thought she had done well, but three days later she was told she hadn’t got the job. No feedback, just an unreplyable, automated email.

She refers to herself as part of the “lost generation”, a whole swathe of young people who have been forgotten, who have worked hard at school and university, encouraged by the politicians to do well, only to find that there is nothing for them at the end of their studies.

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