The highly qualified graduates struggling to find work

Joanne Allanson from Kirkstall has struggled to get a job since graduating last year from the University of Leeds.
Joanne Allanson from Kirkstall has struggled to get a job since graduating last year from the University of Leeds.
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For Joanne Allanson and Steven Jackson, life as a graduate has not been as they expected.

Miss Allanson graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in media production in June.

But ten months on, and despite applying for around 100 jobs, she finds herself working part-time in a shop and still at home with her parents.

“I spent my graduation celebrating with my fellow classmates and looking forward to what was supposed to be the next chapter of my life. Ten months later I find myself in part-time employment and struggling to find a full time career,” she said.

“My dream role would be in a production company, but at the moment that seems to be more like a hobby than a career prospect.”

And she’s not alone in her struggle to find work in her chosen field.

Miss Allanson, 21, of Kirkstall, said: “Catching up with others from my course I have realised we all have found ourselves in a similar situation. Those who are in full time employment tend to be working in an environment unrelated to the degree subject they spent three hard long years working in. 
“I would hardly consider myself unemployable, but it seems grades aren’t important to modern day employers.

“Most employers are looking for candidates with experience, but how we gain experience is no one is willing to take a chance on a fresh graduate?”

Steven Jackson, 21, of Elland, is coming to the end of a three-month paid internship at the University of Huddersfield, from which he graduated with a degree in English Literature in July.

Like Joanne, he’d applied for scores of jobs before landing the placement, and it’s given him renewed confidence to start job hunting again.

He said: “My path to this job was a slow and challenging one. I’d lost count of the number of jobs I’d applied for - it had become soul destroying.

“It was just by chance I came across the internship and it’s been absolutely perfect for me.”

The placement has given him invaluable experience to add to his CV, and he has already been head hunted for an interview after updating his details on online recruitment sites.

He said: “The skills I’ve learnt have already attracted interest and I’m optimistic about the future. I don’t want to be back at the Job Centre.”