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COVID-19 impacts on students’ job search

Your graduate job. When did you find yours? Had you secured it before Christmas in final year? Found it after graduation day? However you found your graduate job search, spare a thought for the class of 2020. With UK GDP expected to contract by around 14% in 2020, the graduate job market is looking increasingly uncertain.

Employers facing difficulties

A recent report by the Institute of Student Employers found that 27% of businesses are expecting to reduce the number of graduates they take on in 2020. In addition to this, the jobs that help student gain experience in the first instance, such as placements and taster day sessions, have dropped by 31% and 68% respectively.

Impact on students

The downturn in employers capacity to take on soon to be graduates can already be seen by students. In a recent survey of students nearing graduation, it was discovered that two-thirds of them have had their job application process put on hold or totally stopped as a result of COVID-19. Consequently, only one-third of final year students feel confident of securing a graduate job now, down from 49% before the crisis, according to YouGov.

Student perspective

“Even before coronavirus hit, I think that the way I was going about my job search was rather short-sighted”, a Final Year Business Student attests to. “I assumed it was going to be relatively easy and instead focused my energy on performing well in my exams and dissertation.”

“At first, I thought COVID-19 was not going to have a major impact in the UK. However, the situation rapidly changed in February / March time. I could definitely feel a lot more pressure in the job search, as there is now a lot more competition for a decreased amount of jobs.”

“My university does have careers support available and I have managed to utilise the job fairs before COVID-19. However, I’m not sure what help exists, now that everything has moved online.” At this uncertain time, knowing exactly what careers guidance is now on offer and how to access it, is very important to students.

Looking forward, the Final Year Business Student is trying to stay positive. “At the beginning of the outbreak, life was very inconvenient. However, I can’t change the situation so I’m learning to be pragmatic and make the most of it. What I’ve learnt from my degree is that there will always be companies I can provide value to. I’m making use of the time now exams are over, to up-skill online. Overall, I’m trying to stay optimistic about the future.”

Staying in touch

With reduced job prospects and increased amounts of uncertainty amongst students, communication is now more important than ever. To help your students through these uncertain times, communicating what careers provision you still have in place and how students can go about accessing it is crucial.

Want to learn more about how we can help you communicate your careers provision effectively to students? Contact us here!