Graduate employment is predicted to rise by 10% next year. These rises are predicted to be centred on sectors such as IT, telecommunications, finance, and the energy industry, according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters.

Since the global financial crisis of 2008 it has been increasingly difficult for graduates to gain employment, even with outstanding degrees from outstanding institutions. Unemployment figures as a whole have increased in recent months, although youth unemployment has remained relatively low, meaning that employment rises are confined to sections of society over the age of 25.

Having invested thousands of pounds in a university education there is a level of expectation and shameful arrogance amongst graduates, many of whom do not want to be one of the approximately 1.46 million British citizens who are underemployed.  This is not a defence of entitlement culture. It is a necessary part of understanding why this systemic problem exists.

…there is a level of expectation and shameful arrogance amongst graduates…

There is supposedly a light at the end of this dark tunnel of desperation into which thousands of graduates will be inducted into following the celebratory graduations this summer. This growth forecast is predicted based on the 4% increase seen in graduate employment last year, but it is by no means a certainty. The job market is a cannibalistic rat race, showing the darkest, most depraved parts of ourselves in every exaggeration and embellishment on each CV and application form. This battlefield will remain inhospitable and violent for the foreseeable future; the economy is in a dire state, and it is hard to see any improvement on the horizon.

This prediction does inspire hope, but is confined to a few small industries; these industries are almost impossible to enter without first investing thousands of pounds in a degree, shutting off vast numbers of the population who are not fortunate enough to have this opportunity. The idea of the degree is that it opens doors. It is an edge in a dog-eat-dog world. Clearly, this has failed to accomplish its aims.

…impossible to enter without first investing thousands of pounds in a degree…

I’m not saying degrees are not worth having; evidently they are when youth unemployment is at nearly a million people.  Employment figures are the playthings of economists and governments; employment is meant to be good for the economy, and whilst youth unemployment remains so disturbingly high, is it any surprise that the most apathetic people in society are the young? Russell Brand’s deplorable attempt to bring about mass abstinence in voting, and the surprisingly resonate response of this move, illustrate the endemic failure to engage young people; graduate and youth unemployment are inextricably linked, and the low probability of employment is a source of intense alienation.

There does seem to be some glimmer of hope rising from the embers of the employment battlefield. It is something that should inspire some form of hope, but it is also by no means a sign of a complete recovery.    

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