Job struggle for poorer students

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A new report reveals that for the large majority of working class graduates, the chances of getting “interesting and meaningful” work are slim. The report’s author, Professor Phil Brown of Cardiff University, identified a large “oversupply of suitably qualified candidates” which typically results in 50 talented graduates applying for every available fast-track appointment. While Oxford graduates had a one in eight chance of being chosen, the success ratio for those from ‘new’ universities with a higher working class contingent was one in 235. The study adds to concerns over the government targets to provide higher education for 50% of school leavers by 2010, at a time when technical skills are in short supply. The report also makes clear that simply being an Oxbridge undergraduate is not enough to gain the best employment. “The stereotype of Oxbridge man is no longer the gold standard in a number of organisations. Narrow experiences, even those of the upper classes, may now be discounted as lacking the flexibility to work in different social contexts.” Employers increasingly seek graduates with what the report calls a “cosmopolitan” status, achieved through work experience and travelling. OUSU Vice President, Josefa Henry-Bochan said, “People know that while getting any job is not that hard, finding something in the area they are interested may prove quite difficult.” But both she and Paul Brown, the Careers Service’s Assistant Director, were quick to point out that the University was hardly struggling in terms of CV-enhancing opportunities and motivated students.ARCHIVE: 1st Week MT2003 

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