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Monday, September 10, 2012

Government unpaid work experience


Alex ix back, this time with his view on things about the Government new unpaid work experience scheme

Every graduate will be familiar with the “think about your future” chat. Typically, this will involve a parent – maybe both, depending on level of seriousness – and yourself. Venue will be in a place that reflects your parents’ intention for it to be casual and yet allowing for minimal routes by which to make an escape.

This week I’ve decided to have a go at current affairs analysis, giving you my view on the government’s plan to introduce 13-week unpaid work experience for young people wanting to claim benefits.

A little context – the government is trialling a scheme whereby young people who wish to claim jobseeker’s allowance and haven’t previously completed six months paid employment must complete 13-weeks unpaid work experience in order to claim benefit. Context provided.

How do the two relate? I, like many of my friends was panicked on hearing this – I’m talking taking an interest in BBC’s newsbeat, between Family Guy episodes. Young people coming out of university wouldn’t have jobs and were destined to sit on sofas watching PPI and pay day loan adverts. However, when I calmed down and looked at the numbers, it all began to add up.

The Employer Insights area of TARGETjobs states “How to get hired by leading employers.” There are 157 of them. To use an example, Deloitte has around 1,200 graduate vacancies. Just imagine the number of vacancies available on graduate schemes in every company of the UK. Things are looking brighter already. But that isn’t the only option a graduate has open to them.

Next up are the entry-level jobs. Perhaps more popular in the media, and so something I am familiar with, these are often advertised on an ad-hoc basis. Although finding one which ticks all the boxes – both for you and the employer – can be a bit tasking, there is a plethora of companies looking to recruit and it has been a rare occasion that I haven’t been able to find a job suited to me on any of my usual haunts. Many do not require a particularly high level of training – a degree and a number of transferable/soft skills are the norm for many.

Specialising in your chosen field too makes a lot of difference – I may kick myself at some point if people start using my tips. As a student looking to develop a career in Journalism, I thought I would apply to newspapers. This may yield a mere puddle of ten job opportunities in the best case scenario. However, if I was to walk into an average-sized WHSmith and take not of all the different publishing groups on their magazine isle, this puddle becomes a pool of job opportunity. Go to a big WHSmith and this becomes a veritable reservoir.

At this point I release that I am open to a certain amount of criticism. Yes, it is probable that these jobs are out there, but what to do whilst attempting to gain said employment. From my own personal experience, I have always found that my part-time job has always been happy to up my hours, so to speak, whilst I’m available full-time. It keeps me active and the thought at the front of my mind that if I don’t get my act together quickly, I’ll be asking customers if they want whipped cream on top for many months to come (I’ll leave it to you to guess where I worked).

Graduates are ahead of the game and there is no need to feel that unemployment waits at the end of a degree. It merely requires a bit of preparation.

Thank you Alex, as always a great post. 
Why don't you also have a look at what we think about this matter and whether this Government scheme will help graduates find a job.