It makes for grim reading when you read mainstream media about the graduate labour market. Research from Prospects Luminate found that 78.5% of final year students are worrying about the lack of job vacancies in their industry. Their fears are well met with the dreaded “R” word being mentioned, recession. With a predicted 12% cut in graduate vacancies this year means that it is more important than ever to provide support to students, to help eliminate these fears and guide them as they start their professional careers.
However, amongst all this fear, we do have glimmers of hope. Employers have learnt lessons from previous recessions; in the 2008 recession, all engagement with graduates almost ceased and this caused employers to lose out on a lot of talent. This time round, employers are still looking to continue their engagement with universities and help final year students and graduates through the current situation. For example, FDM, an international services company, have continued their recruitment and even provided students with opportunities to engage through their webinars.
Teaching recruitment, although stalled at the start, has seen an increase over the past couple of weeks. You just need to look on myFuture to see the amount of teaching vacancies we are advertising. There is hope and we need to instil confidence in students to start considering their options.
Unfortunately, sitting to wait this one out is not the best option to take, we need to help students and graduates to understand the current labour market and find opportunities. We are working hard to engage with employers to advertise vacancies and currently, we are advertising some excellent opportunities including:
- Social Media Co-ordinator with Magnet,
- Graduate Trainee Accountant with Kirklees Council,
- Assistant Care Officer with Leeds City Council.
These are just three of many other excellent vacancies which we are currently advertising., and we have seen an increase in engagement from students and graduates seeking assistance with their job search.
We need our students to be prepared by undertaking their own research or engaging with our team to understand the current labour market. From there, students need to:
- Be pro-active,
- Continue to search for opportunities,
- Undertake virtual training or webinars.
I do understand that students and graduates have a job or sector in mind and can be reluctant to consider other options, but some may need to consider other possibilities. Although some areas have seen a decrease in recruitment, healthcare and digital are just two sectors which have not been heavily affected. We need to encourage students to be open minded and consider these other options, ad a good opportunity to do this will be during the Level 6 Exit Interviews.
There is also the option to undertake further study, especially with the excellent discounts available to Leeds Trinity undergraduates. Postgraduate study does need to be considered and I would always advise students to understand the benefits of the course and ask the key question “how will this help with my career?”. We can provide full support with identifying courses and the application process.
The myFuture team are reaching out as much as we can to provide the support that is required to navigate this uncertain time. Employers are changing their recruitment techniques, so we would like to help students through this. We are working remotely and can provide support with career planning, applications and interview preparation. All this help can be accessed by emailing myFuture.
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