As a general rule securing work, regardless of your age or educational background, is difficult at the moment. In July the unemployment figure sat at around 2.59m (according to The BBC); and even though it has fallen recently, youngsters in particular are struggling to secure work without that all important experience.
Last week we spoke about what Face Facts are doing to help young people who find themselves in that situation (for a quick refresh check it all out here), but what else is going on in the industry, what other graduate opportunities are available and are they enough?
Research indicates that the “big boys” (the top 10 UK agencies) all have graduate schemes, but these are incredibly competitive due to the limited number of placements and as a result are not available to the majority of graduates. Now, don’t get me wrong, these programmes are very important for graduates and the industry; but what about those who miss out on this opportunity, those who do not meet the strict pre-requisites of such programmes?
The big argument that has come about in regard to these graduate schemes is that whilst they are a training programme, this does not automatically equate to work experience. A report by High Fliers Research has found that more than half of recruiters say graduates who have no previous work experience are unlikely to make it through their selection process and therefore have little or no chance of securing a job offer on their graduate programme. And this is despite the increase in job openings this year. The report also found that more than one-third of graduate vacancies available are expected to be taken by people who have already worked for a firm while studying.
So whilst graduate schemes traditionally required little or no work experience (emphasis just being on the applicants educational background) that all-important work experience has now made it difficult for graduates to progress their careers through such training schemes. This combined with the fact that those leaving university this summer are competing with previous graduates (one-third of applications this year have been from people who finished their degree in 2011 or earlier); it’s becoming an increasingly difficult cycle to break.
It is evident that there are opportunities out there for graduate training; particularly in larger scale organisations. But these placements are massively competitive and without experience are almost impossible to secure for the majority of applicants. So we are offering a stepping stone; a middle man to give graduates, who need both work experience and training, a chance. If candidates then want to further their training, at least they are equipped with a solid foundation and experience in the industry. If more training isn’t for them we have had great success in placing candidates into permanent roles within a variety of companies. A win win situation we feel.
It’s not the answer for everyone; but if it helps a few rising stars to reach their potential and become champions for our cause (of introducing new blood into the industry) we don’t think it’s such a bad thing.
And if you want to be involved at all or have any further questions then drop us a line over this way (best to email email@example.com).
Connect with The Face Facts Grad School for more info…