Compass Youth expresses concern at ’17 year high’ in Graduate Unemployment

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit’s report highlights the silent disaster facing young people in the jobs market. The report covered 82% of those who completed an undergraduate degree last summer and live in the UK. In January 2010, 1 in 11 of those graduates were unemployed, although we know many more have taken work in non-graduate jobs like checkouts and bar staff. The proportion of graduates working in retail and catering rose by 3.8 points to 14.4% – about one in seven.

All this comes after the publishing of the Browne Review which is an unmitigated disaster for young people. Fear of debt is already a major factor in deterring even the brightest school-leavers from poorer families from going to University. Adding tens of thousand to the current average debt of £23,000 will make this situation much worse, in effect excluding many from average backgrounds from the top universities and the most expensive courses. We call on the government to reject the Browne Review in light of the graduate unemployment figures, it is wrong to charge us more for our education when the chances of us getting graduate employment has now fallen to 62.4% according to today’s Higher Education Careers Service Unit report.
Compass Youth has been campaigning on this issue of graduate unemployment over the past year with our campaign ‘All Skilled Up, All Doled Up’. We may be “an army of youngsters with nothing to do and nothing to lose”, but we are all skilled up. When we know that youth unemployment costs us £100 million a month, we know it’s time to stop the unemployed becoming permanently unemployable. Experiencing unemployment when young increases the chances of being long-term unemployed which is the wrong message to send out when we should be trying to develop a growth strategy and rebuild our economy.

We’re the generation that thought we had it all until the crisis showed us our dreams were built on a house of cards. Nothing to show for and confused about our future. From teens into NEETS. From generation Y to generation why.

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