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Graduates on finding work

Published on: 11 Sep 2009

These three construction graduates were promised jobs, but like so many others have found that finding a job after completing their degree isn't as easy as they had thought.

Anil Joshi
Age 21
Debt £10,000
Degree 2:1 in building surveying from Westminster university
Ideal first job A place on a graduate scheme with a large consultant or contractor
Job-seeking strategy “I started looking for a job while I was still at university and have only had one interview in six months – it was with Southwark council and I was unsuccessful. I’ve been applying for jobs in the UK, UAE and US and cold-calling employers and recruitment agencies. I haven’t had many responses, though. I also applied to work unpaid on the Olympics three months ago and haven’t had a response.”
Message to the industry “At least give us unpaid work experience – giving a desk to a graduate doesn’t cost much. You attracted us to your industry, we worked hard at university and now we deserve a chance.”
Plan B “My uncle works for Hewlett-Packard and he’s offered me a job. I said no, as my heart’s in construction. The job’s there ifI get desperate, though.”

Rosie Olley
Age 21
Debt £10,000
Degree First in building surveying from Reading university
Ideal first job “I want to do my APC for building surveyors at a project management or building surveying firm and then specialise in refurbishment and development of old buildings, which I find a really creative area of the industry.”
Job-seeking strategy Relentless internet research, cold-calling local surveying firms, tapping up all contacts and doing unpaid work.
Message to the industry “I hope someone who has a graduate opportunity will read this and get in contact!”
Plan B “I’ll go travelling if nothing comes up. If it’s like this when I come back, I’ll have to look outsideconstruction.”

Michael Kleios
Age 21
Debt about £25,000
Degree 2:1 in quantity surveying and construction management from Reading
Ideal first job “I’d like to work in London for a big contractor. I did work experience last year with ISG and absolutely loved it. They said I would be welcome to go back full time this year, as long as the recession didn’t get any worse. Two days before my first exam this summer, they retracted the offer.”
Message to the industry “Graduates who don’t get jobs in construction now are going to change their career paths and the industry will lose us forever.”
Plan B Already in action – Kleios has left construction and launched his own business, Cheeky Monkeys, which helps children learn through playing sport. He is already making a profit.

Read the full article Unemployed graduates: We were promised jobs.