A recent GradTouch survey revealed that 90% of respondents feared there will be fewer job opportunities available to them because of COVID-19.
With social distancing rules changing by the minute and everything feeling as uncertain as it did six months ago, it's a very scary time to be a soon-to-be, or recent, graduate.
But don't lose hope, because things are looking up in the graduate job world and opportunities are out there. Here's a rundown of the current situation and what to expect as you begin (or continue) your search for a graduate job.
Companies are opening their graduate recruitment, especially those with grad schemes
Pandemic or not, Autumn is a crucial time if you're looking to apply for graduate schemes. Lots of employers have started opening their graduate recruitment for schemes starting in 2021, and the earlier you apply, the better. The recruitment process for grad schemes is often lengthy and with the need for assessments to be moved online this year, don't be surprised if they take even longer.
If you already know that joining a graduate scheme is the route you want to go down, don't waste time. Early applicants are deemed 'proactive' by a lot of companies and will look favourably on you. And remember that even if you're not straight out of uni, you can still apply. Plenty of companies class 'graduates' as anyone who's graduated in the past three years so don't let your age deter you. If anything, those added years of experience will only add to your appeal!
The Government has put funding in place to help young workers out
It appears that Rishi Sunak has a forest of money trees growing somewhere, because the Government are injecting £2 billion into a new Kickstart Scheme which aims to prevent youth unemployment. The money will be used to create 6-month work placements for 18-24 year olds who're on Universal Credit. Employers will be given 100% of the wages from the Government for the young people they hire, as an incentive to start recruiting.
The Government are also giving £111 million towards traineeships in England, in hope to triple the traineeships available to 18-24 year olds and help them up-skill. Plus, employers will now receive a £2k bonus from the Government for every new apprentice they hire under the age of 25.
So if that's not incentive enough for employers to get their fingers out and start hiring the talented minds of the younger generation, what is?
Saying that, it's important to be adaptable
Some industries have been hit much harder than others by the pandemic, so it's important to be realistic about the opportunities available to graduates right now. We're not saying you have to go ahead and quit your career as a Professional Ballerina to retrain in Cyber (see Fatima/cyber scandal for more details), but recognise that jobs in industries like tourism and hospitality are likely few and far between. On the upside, some sectors are booming more than ever and will have the funds to inject more money and time into hiring new recruits.
Be open-minded and willing to adapt to the current graduate job market. That's easier said than done if you've had clear career plans in your mind, but now is a great time to explore avenues you may have previously discounted.
Patience is key too: the search for a graduate job could take longer than it would've for graduates in the past, and you might not end up in your dream role straight away, but just remember that you'll probably be working until your 75 anyway, so there's still plenty of time to smash those career goals and earn your millions.
There's lots of opportunities for graduates open right now on our website. Check out GradTouch right here to find out more.