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Is The Coalition To Blame For The Graduate Underemployment


Labour will today make a direct appeal to graduates stuck in low-skilled, badly paid jobs as it seeks to rebuild its reputation for economic competence...

Labour will today make a direct appeal to graduates stuck in low-skilled, badly paid jobs as it seeks to rebuild its reputation for economic competence by championing aspiration and a vibrant private sector. In a keynote speech, the shadow business secretary, John Denham, will admit that the problem of graduate underemployment cannot solely be blamed on the coalition as it was the government that collectively allowed the economy to become too unbalanced. However, in a meeting organised by IPPR North ThinkTank, he will put forward the suggestion that the inability of the current government to create the right conditions is now stunting private sector growth while simultaneously condemning many graduates to unskilled employment for which they are overqualified. Backed by Labour leader Ed Miliband and the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, Denham will suggest that 'Britain's economy is betraying the hopes of the young generation'. Furthermore, he will propose that the Coalition government is letting down the countries' university leavers by failing to create skilled, well-paid graduate jobs which utilise the skills that they have acquired and developed throughout university. Speaking directly to Guardian News, advisors to Denham added that the speech was designed to deliver an unambiguous message from Miliband, the need for each generation to believe that they could do better than the last is palpable. The shadow business secretary will cement his concerns by outlining that, at present, one in five graduates are not working in graduate jobs. He will also draw on key skills surveys which reflect that the number of employees who are over-qualified for their job has risen from under a third to one half of all employees. Finally, he will suggest that, to add insult to injury, median earnings are expected to fall in the impending year. Aides to Denham suggest he will say, "Some short-sighted people will conclude that we should have fewer graduates, and that it is not worth studying or improving skills. I say that these are warning signs of an economy which will not be able to compete in a tough global market, which will rely on ever more competitive companies operating at the highest level of productivity and innovation." Denham will unsurprisingly reiterate Miliband's view that it is time for Labour to admit the mistakes that have been made, throughout its ruling 13 years, as well as the entrenched nature of the structural problems of the economy. However, he will state that current policies are doing little to help, but rather, are simply making the already present problems of the government worse. Denham will outline that a more interventionist approach to industry policy, involving financial support for sectors of business, will undoubtedly increase confidence in the success of such sectors. This will thereby enable us to predict what Britain will look like in the future and consequently advise young people of the opportunities which will be available to them. While it is encouraging for us graduates to know that politicians such as Denham are drawing attention to the faults of the government concerning graduate underemployment, the dismantling of business support, universities' sole focus 'on the new fees rather than working with business', I believe that we graduates are now ready for some adjustments. Mr Denham, I speak on behalf of the graduate community when I say 'Thank You' for refocusing media attention on this issue which, I may add, is failing to make the transition from student to graduate any less exciting. However, may I now suggest to politicians amass, that with graduation approaching faster than the next Miliband
criticism of the Coalition, it is definitely time for us to start reading about the education of said graduate underemployment. Come along now boys, less talk, more action please.

Elise, GRB Journalist
the grb team grb author

Now in our 24th year, Graduate Recruitment Bureau (GRB) is the UK's highest review-rated graduate recruitment consultancy. Every day our teams of sector-specific experts get contacted by major graduate recruiters, SMEs and start-ups who are looking for high calibre university students and graduates.

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