Uploaded by:- aBestFamily.com (158376588@N03) @ 2018-01-14 16:50:21
The cost of attending interviews can be a real barrier for poorer students landing graduate-level roles
The cost of job hunting is preventing poorer students and recent graduates from attending interviews, a survey has found.
As well as having to deal with the soaring costs of university tuition and living costs, students who are already heavily in debt are having to fork out an average of £506.55 in interview expenses before they secure their first proper job, a survey of 2,000 students found.
With this year’s cohort of students set to leave university with an average of £50,000 of debt, 43 per cent of graduates said they had not been able to attend interviews because of the cost.
Will Sanderson, 23, who studied agriculture and business management, said the high cost of travel was a major barrier for job-hunting students.
“I went to university in the South West and have been aiming to find work in that area. Being from Northumberland this means that the travel costs and also journey time for me personally have been really high.
“To make the journey worthwhile, I have had to try and organise more than one interview to take place in one trip down which more often than not isn’t possible.
“Luckily, I have friends still living in the area so I have been able to stay with them while I have been down, but if that wasn’t the case I’d also have to book accommodation, which again doesn’t come cheap.”
Cameron Stewart, 24, who graduated from Cardiff University and now works for BT, said it was a struggle to be able to attend the number of interviews necessary to land a suitable role.
“It took me just under 18 months to get a graduate scheme… I must have applied for roughly 40 in total over that time.”
He said his dad helped him out with the cost of a new suit, and he spent around £250-300 on hotels and food when he had to stay overnight before interviews.
Larger companies tend to reimburse applicants for graduate schemes where they are required to attend assessment days, but many smaller companies do not, meaning poorer students are at an obvious disadvantage when it comes to securing graduate level employment as they are likely to attend fewer interviews.
Research consistently shows that despite higher numbers of students from poorer families going to university, the top jobs in all fields continue to be taken by graduates from wealthier backgrounds, particularly those who were privately educated and went to Russell group universities.
The survey found almost a third of students had to borrow extra money to attend interviews either through a credit card or an overdraft I addition to their student loans, while 42 per cent turned to their families for assistance.
Sue Hayes, Managing Director of Personal Banking at Barclays, the company which commissioned the latest research, said the cost of securing the first vital role out of university was “shocking”.
“Graduates already face a challenging job market on top of record levels of student debt, so it’s disheartening to see how many of them are struggling to cover the costs of even attending an interview.”
Her company will offer graduate interviewees the chance to apply for up to two nights’ free accommodation in some of the UK’s most popular cities for post-university employment, including London, Manchester and Birmingham.
To book or find out more visit: eventbrite.co.uk/e/barclays-graduate-rooms-tickets-38653025239] or search for ‘Barclays Graduate Rooms’ on Eventbrite.
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