Young people face "long hot summer" seeking jobs

Tue May 26, 2009 7:39pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Young job-seekers face a tough time ahead looking for work as the recession deepens, with almost half of 500 firms in a survey saying they will not be taking on school-leavers or graduates this year.

In the words of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which carried out the survey, young people "face a long hot summer" looking for work.

The poll found that only one in five companies planned to hire 16-year-old school-leavers.

The picture was slightly better for university graduates, although a third of companies said they had cut their intake of graduate employees for 2009.

Nearly half, 45 percent, of firms are not planning to recruit from either group in the coming months, illustrating the scale of the economic downturn.

"Employers have for a long time had doubts about the employability skills of those leaving education, and this year's crop face employers in a more choosy mood than ever before," said Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the CIPD.

"Against this backdrop, graduates and school leavers need to sharpen their case for being picked ahead of their classmates -- and fast," he added.

In the three months to March, the number of people looking for work rose by 244,000 to above 2.2 million -- the biggest rise since the downturn of 1981, reinforcing fears the jobless toll could hit 3 million by next year.

Ruth Elwood, head of recruitment at accountants KPMG, which helped with the study, said the recession is forcing young people to undertake a systematic job search while still studying for their exams.   Continued...

<p>A man looks at a list of employers at the 2009 CUNY Big Apple Job Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, March 20, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>