Graduates face struggle for jobs
Published at 21:37, Wednesday, 08 August 2012
MANY University graduates in Dumfries and Galloway are struggling to find work, according to the region’s Citizens Advice Service.
The Scottish CAB network published the results of a nationwide survey which revealed that many graduates were unemployed or working in low-wage, short-term jobs which do not need degrees.
The Citizens Advice Service has confirmed that many who responded to the survey are from Dumfries and Galloway.
The survey interviewed 960 recent Scottish graduates. It found 56.3 per cent had been unemployed for a period after graduating. Of these, 20 per cent had been unemployed for more than a year.
Another 24.8 per cent said they were currently under-employed in low-paid or short-term positions which did not need a degree.
Of those who were unemployed or under-employed, only 15.2 per cent said they were confident of finding a graduate-level job in future.
The careers advice provided at school had been poor, according to 59.9 per cent, while 78.4 per cent said the Jobcentre was unhelpful in finding them graduate-level jobs and 64.2 per cent said it was unhelpful in finding them any sort of jobs.
Sue Irving, Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service chief executive, said: “These trends are certainly reflected in the cases we see and there has been an increase in the number of university-educated people coming through our doors with money worries.
“Going to university these days almost certainly means you will be in debt by the time you graduate. In the past, the trade-off has been that you assume your degree will help you find a well-paid job. But for many now that’s not the case.
“Many graduates find well-paid jobs but others struggle and our advisers are seeing more of those. It’s heart-rending to hear them tell you they feel their lives are on hold. Some even question whether it was worth the time, money and effort they put into getting their degrees.
“Anyone with financial worries, like debt or low income, can see our Money Advice team. Our help is free, impartial and confidential.”
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray says graduates feel “betrayed”. Last month it was revealed that long-term youth unemployment was at its highest rate in 15 years, with 420 18 to 24 year olds in Dumfries and Galloway out of work for more than six months.
Dr Murray said: “Many graduates went to university to enhance their skills and improve their employability.
“I want to see a wage subsidy scheme to help businesses take on young people to promote growth and create jobs, ensuring we retain these graduates in our region.
“We need listen to graduates when 80 per cent of them responding to the survey say the Jobcentre was unhelpful in finding them graduate level jobs. It is clear more needs to be done to help them make the transition from university to work.”
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