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Young People on jobs scrapheap

Nearly half of all firms won’t be hiring graduates or school-leavers in the near future according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).  Its survey also showed that only one fifth of companies plan to hire 16-year-olds due to leave school and a third have cut their graduate employees in 2009.

With unemployment at around 2.2 million young people have been particularly hard hit. Around 40% of the people who have become unemployed in the past 6 months are under 25.

The long term effects of unemployment among school leavers and graduates during the recessions of the 1980s and 90s are still being felt and analysts fear that we could see a whole generation of young people never realising their potential. It’s the old dilemma. Employers want people with experience but how do you get experience?

You have to start thinking about jobs long before you leave school or university and try to get suitable work experience. If you can’t find paid work experience think about doing voluntary work. Learn how to network from an early age. Sadly it is still true that you can get work because of who you know rather than what you know. Keep in touch with anyone you ever do any work for and get advice on how to compile a CV, fill in application forms and do interviews.

Remember that it’s usually easier to get a job if you’re already in a job so sometimes it pays to take whatever comes along rather than holding out for your ideal post. You may find you have to do things that are beneath you do get some money to pay the bills, while doing voluntary work to get the experience for the work you want to do. And if you are an enterprising type with a good idea why not think about starting up your own business. Your local Business Link is there to give you advice and information. Find out more at 

My next radio series on BBC Radio 4 is The Job Clinic. It goes out on 15/16/17th June at 11.02am and looks at the problems faced by people out of work. Our contributors include Ros who graduated almost a year ago and is still trying to find paid work. Mentors Charles Handy, co-founder of Coffee Republic Sahar Hashemi and career coach Jenny Rogers help them work out what to do next.




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