Copyright (c) 2012 Alison Withers
There have been signs of more optimism on employment and the state of the UK economy September and October 2012 than have previously been in evidence.
Economic experts have been predicting that a UK return to growth is imminent while the monthly unemployment statistics have been showing steady improvement.
The Office for National statistics has just released the most recent figures for the three months to August 2012 which showed that a further 50,000 people found work and the numbers of people in work now at their highest level since records were first begun in 1971.
The REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) also carries out a monthly jobs survey among employersand it also found that growth in temp recruitment had reached a 14-month high and that demand for staff had increased more strongly.
The biggest concern about unemployment has been the worryingly high levels among young people aged 16 to 25. Here also there has been moderate good news with the Higher Education Careers Service Unit reporting that the situation for graduates this year being much better than had been feared and employment levels comparable to the previous year.
This reduction in unemployment, according to the ONS has also been mostly among younger people, bringing the numbers below £1 million for the first time in over a year.
Nevertheless there are those who argue that these so-called improvements are very uncertain because so many of the jobs people have taken have been part time when the preference was for full time employment, a proportion are accounted for by people becoming self employed and or many jobs taken being well below people's qualification and skill levels.
For many people, both employers and candidates, part time or temporary work has a negative image. A recent BBC online article that included interviews with young people in countries around the world, where competition for jobs on graduation is even more intense than it is in the UK, is instructive.
Among the quoted examples was a young graduate from Senegal, who said: 'Do not get discouraged by failure and keep trying'. Having managed ten interviews from hundreds of applications he had succeeded eventually in a politically volatile part of Africa.
Similarly a young woman in Malaysia said: that the job you settled for could be the stepping stone to achieving your dream job, while a young Nigerian persisted despite high unemployment in his country, eventually by handing his CV to the person who is now his current employer having bumped into them on the street.
For young graduates in the UK struggling to find work these examples are a useful lesson because what they all had in common was a positive attitude in sometimes dire conditions, far worse than those in the UK, and a determination not to give up. They were all willing to volunteer, try internships or even low-skilled work and perceived these options as giving them an opportunity, not a negative.
Signs of improvement in recruitment and the UK economy in the Autumn of 2012 give hope to young candidates. By Ali Withers. http://www.rmsrecruitment.com
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