UK-Europe and the Job Market

UK-Europe and the Job Market

It’s a common mistaken perception that graduates in developed countries are easier to get job. No, not at all. Finding a (proper) job has always been a struggle for majority of people, wherever we are. In developed countries, the case is probably even worse. Most of the industrial manufacturing plants have off-shored to far away countries as a result of globalised trade–which means less on-site jobs available. Plus, (quite) recent financial crisis still leave its impact on the economy.In France, an ex co-worker told me, it is considered amazing if you’re (still) 25 and have secured a permanent job. So, refer to my previous story, it’s understandable why an ex-client questioned my decision to leave a permanent job for studying again. In fact, during my study in UK, I observed that most of postgraduate students are international students (non UK/EU)–which means that it’s seemingly quite rare for UK/EU students to pursue Master Degree, unless they plan to build an academic career.

Anyway, I just read an interesting story in LUSU (Lancaster University Student Union) newspaper.

LUSU article

As we can see from the title, the writer complained about how it’s getting more difficult to secure full time entry-level job, as most of the companies turn it into apprenticeship program. Even worse, a significant number of these apprenticeships were taken by over-25s people, reducing the chance of fresh graduates to get a job. The excuse for apprenticeship (instead of full-time employment) was, that company need to shape their employee’s skill before fully employing them.

But of course that wasn’t the real case. Once an Indonesian senior, who has stayed in UK for 15 years, told me that difficult economy has forced many companies to avoid paying standard wage for graduates. A standard annual salary for bachelor degree holder is £24,000. However, in apprenticeship, this decent salary can be pressed down up to minimum wage rate, which is £6.50 per hour. If a graduate works for 40 hours a week, then you can imagine how much saving the company makes? However, seems that the graduates have no other options though, since finding a permanent job is getting harder.

In this situation of diminishing job market, the chance for overseas students like me to secure a job in UK is even impossible. It makes sense that government and corporations will of course prioritise their own citizen to get employment. Most of Indonesian LU graduates that I know, ended up go back to Indonesia after some UK job application trials. Freelance jobs are still available, of course, but again, with minimum wage rate to feed highly expensive UK living cost, it’s a lot better to work at home with higher salary value and much lower living cost.

Life is hard, comrades.