The savvy may have noticed that BBC3 (with BBC Radio 1) are running something called “Up For Hire“, asking whether business takes young people seriously and gives them the chance they deserve.
Worth having a glance through if you’re interested in young people’s careers.
I really do wish I didn’t have to bear this kind of news, but don’t shoot the messenger. Students thinking ahead to careers need to realise they’re looking at a very, very bleak jobs future. Here’s a summary of some recent Telegraph articles to this effect.
With an ever-increasing number of potential employees holding good degrees, it’s worth noting that the degree is no longer a meal ticket to a good career – rather, it’s the bare minimum and you can still end up in low-paid jobs with a degree. This is particularly the case since the recession of 2007 –>, with some reliable workforce analysts speculating that the UK jobs market won’t recover for nearly a decade-and-a-half. Meanwhile, low- to middle-paid earners (the majority of the population) have seen their share of national wealth (and their prospects of social mobility) fall dramatically in the past few decades: women and those without well-off parents to support them early in their careers have been especially hard-hit.
In one article particularly worth reading in full, it notes that two-fifths of all employees are over-qualified for their job and that, despite a massive skills shortage in the UK, employers still feel there is a poor match between the skills of candidates and jobs available. Depressingly, even being very qualified can leave you without a post, even after lots of successful career experience – the moral of the story here is that qualifications are the bare minimum for success, and you will also need to be able to market yourself well to potential employers. Soft skills like salesmanship, personability, and initiative are critical: the world is not waiting to give you a job – you have to go after it yourself.
On the brighter side, here’s a lovely short slide show of ten major growth industries for the next couple of decades – careers you should really be considering as a student now.
This morning I’ve been looking through the recent BBC Careers posts and it’s worth taking a glance at the two that follow. They don’t make the most heartening reading for young people, but that’s all the more reason you should read them.
Start with this analysis about how Marx was right about the flaws of modern Capitalism, how secure middle-class jobs – probably like those your parents hold – are disappearing. (Remember this is the very centrist BBC talking, not some left-wing rag. When they say there are no good jobs left, you ought to worry.)
If it cheers you up after that, read “Dragons’ Den” guru Deborah Meaden’s guide to getting a job in a difficult market. This is aimed at those in their 20s, rather than current school students, but look ahead – could you put yourself in a good position in advance to beat this kind of market?
There is no question that the vast majority of current school-leavers, leaving with good qualifications, face a much sterner task building successful and profitable careers than your parents ever did. Be as prepared as you can!
Oh – and – did I mention you will probably not be able to retire until 70 at the earliest?