Magazine article Management Today

Editorial: Young Guns Must Go for It

Magazine article Management Today

Editorial: Young Guns Must Go for It

Article excerpt

Among the expressions of protest emanating from this Age of Austerity - bellows from the rich, groans from the squeezed middle and muted cries from those unlucky enough to be at the bottom - one set of voices that doesn't get heard is the graduate unemployed.

The stats for recent university leavers in the UK look grim. One in five are actively unemployed and many drift from one unpaid 'internship' to the next, often learning very little and simply being used as office fodder. It's time we did something about it or we risk losing a generation of our talent to places that actually want our young people, such as New Zealand, where they can be extras in the latest Hobbit movie.

My careers adviser at university was convinced I was ideal material for the civil service. He probably had a quota to fill and impressionable final-year undergraduates worried about impending unemployment will listen to anyone in a tie. (Or they did in my day.) So I spent a fruitless and frustrating year in the secretariat of the Medical Research Council, wondering why I was pushing paper from in-tray to out-tray rather than discovering a few monoclonal antibodies. The truth was, I was jealous of those friends who were beginning their careers in journalism and so I resigned to try to join them. About 85 speculative applications later, I landed a job as reporter/marketing man on a weekly tabloid in Woolwich, where the statuesque blonde selling obituary space on the front desk also modelled lingerie for our Page 3. …

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