…or so says the headline in a two-day report in the Evening Standard a week or so ago.

The report was focussed on youth unemployment inLondonand it’s hard to argue with the facts –

  • There are 120,000 16-24 year-olds unemployed inLondon(almost one in four)
  • Almost 50,000 claim Jobseekers Allowance
  • The annual cost of JSA to the taxpayer is £145m
  • 24,000 have been unemployed for more than 12 months

The report highlighted a number of specific cases, including that of Sana Babar, a sixth-form leaver who has applied for a staggering 3,000 jobs in the last year (almost 10 every day) and in that time, she managed to get just four interviews but no job. In addition, not one of the recruiters or companies she applied to gave her any feedback whatsoever.

‘It’s a process that is utterly soul destroying’ she says.

It appears to be a vicious circle. Long term joblessness leads to depression, social exclusion, anger, and crushed self-esteem but without the holy grail of ‘having experience’, it appears to be a circle that never ends.

Another case is that of Mark Fordham, a bright, hardworking 18-year old electronics whiz who failed all his GCSEs after his mother was diagnosed with cancer and he stopped his studies to become her full-time carer. He also reckons he’s applied for ‘several thousand’ jobs but without experience, getting onto the job ladder appears to be much harder.

Much the same can also be said for university graduates. Birmingham University Architecture graduate Debo Ajose-Adeogun; After 250 applications for entry-level positions in the housing construction sector, all he’s managed is three unsuccessful interviews.

‘It’s demoralising. After your tenth rejection you redouble your efforts, after your fiftieth you doubt yourself and after your 150th, you feel worthless. I even took a job as a part-time sales assistant in a woman’s clothing store. It was menial, minimum wage work but it’s better than nothing’.

The sad statistics don’t just end there. The Higher Education Statistics Agency reports that 9% of full-time graduates (20,620 in all) are still unemployed six months after completing their degrees, compared with just over half that in 2007.

But here is the worst one of all. In 2007, there were 29 applications for every advertised graduate job vacancy. Today, there are 73 and the consequence is that many graduates are now being forced to compete for menial jobs typically filled by those with no qualifications at all – and many are being turned away for…guess what…? Being OVER-QUALIFIED!

One of the issues that needs to be addressed is the perceived mismatch of skills. Who is responsible for failing to ensure a steady stream of young people are entering work and structured training programmes? If this carries on for much longer, social problems mount and the economy becomes stagnant, yet we know that businesses want – need – to recruit and invest in youth because of an increasingly aged workforce.

Therefore, we can’t simply put it down to a weak jobs market, there is a fundamental mismatch between the skills that businesses need and the skills – or lack of – possessed by young people looking for work.

Unfortunately, here at Asset Resourcing we don’t have all the answers. We wish we did. It’s clear that the Government has to ensure young people are leaving school, college and university with better qualifications, MUCH better careers advice and a MUCH better understanding of the nuances of the world of employment.

As a recruitment company, we are well aware of our responsibilities. It’s not just about finding you a job, taking the commission and going on holiday. We know it’s tough out there (we recently advertised for a junior position at Asset Resourcing and got 277 applications) but what we want everyone who comes through our doors (metaphorically and physically) to know is that we are here to help you, to answer any and every question you have and to be your advocate in helping you get the job you want.

It’s about going the extra mile. It’s about us being available to talk through your options and it’s about making sure we work our socks off to get you what you came to us for.

What we will say is this – while it’s hard, don’t get demoralised. Good things happen to good people and if you’re talented, hard-working and ambitious, your perfect job might just be around the corner.

For Accountancy & Finance vacancies, click here

For IT vacancies, click here

For Admin & Clerical vacancies, click here

For Sales & Marketing vacancies, click here

In addition, we also have a wealth of resource information in our Candidate Clinic that you might find interesting. Have a read and let us know what you think, what else you’d like to see and if it was useful.

In the meantime (and for rear of going over old ground), we are here for you. It’s the cornerstone of the Asset Resourcing business model and we encourage you to take us up on our offer!

Until November…

Ben Sweeting & Michelle Scott, Directors, Asset Resourcing

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