Letter: Graduates trapped in a vicious circle

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The Independent Online
Sir: Having been a graduate in a state of severe under-employment for a year (I am a messenger), I must disagree with your article on graduate unemployment (10 September). You place too much emphasis on the flexibility of graduates without emphasising the need for employers to be flexible as well, especially on issues of over- qualification and lack of relevant work experience.

You say that graduates are taking jobs from school leavers. I disagree. With three-quarters of the jobs I have applied for, I have been told bluntly that with a degree I am over-qualified. This leaves me, and other graduates who are unable to get a 'graduate level' job, high and dry, as employers (including corporate companies) will not take them on at lower levels.

In addition, because most graduates leaving at 21-23 have had limited relevant job experience, employers are unwilling to take raw graduates on for basic jobs. Even graduates with accountancy degrees cannot gain employment in small accounts departments because of no work experience.

This leads graduates into a vicious circle. If no one is willing to take them on with no work experience, how do they get it?

These two barriers place under-employed and unemployed graduates in an impossible position, which will continue until employers adopt a more realistic and flexible attitude themselves toward employing graduates.

Yours sincerely,

MARK BROOKS

Erith, Kent

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