Students are frustrated with the idea of working without being paid but accept it as part of their future. Picture: REX
Students are frustrated with the idea of working without being paid but accept it as part of their future. Picture: REX

Graduates prefer experience rather than money

Four out of five university students expect to work without pay when they first graduate, according to a recent international study.

Career matching platform 10 Minutes With recently revealed that despite the upturn in the global economy, students still do not expect to get paid work after they graduate – either at a non-paid internship or on a zero hours contract.

Third year English literature student Eva Maere, 22, said: “If I don’t get a paid job that I find relevant or interesting I would rather do an unpaid internship to get the experience than work at a supermarket just because it’s paid – that won’t get me anywhere.

“Just because you’ve just graduated doesn’t make you less of an asset or your labour worth less.

“If people taking unpaid internships has become the ‘norm’ and what you have to do to get on the job market, I think that’s an unnerving development because it implies that only people who can afford to work for nothing are going to get the jobs that relate to their degree.”

Although most students apply for graduate schemes and other paid jobs, with the survey finding that 63 per cent of students expect to secure a job interview in less than 10 applications, working without pay is still widely accepted.

The study also said that the average graduate salary is now £30,000, while thousands of graduate jobs go unfilled, especially in the Information and Communication Technology area, which could see “nearly three quarters of a million unfilled vacancies by 2020”.

10 Minutes With founder Manfredi Di Cintio said: “During the recession, the notion of working without a salary was ingrained in the minds of many students as they prepared to enter the job market.

“Internships can be a great way for graduates to get a foot in the door and for the employee and employer to gauge their compatibility to one another.

“However, we are now in a situation where there are thousands of excellent, paid graduate jobs going unfilled because companies are mismanaging their recruitment and are struggling to find young talent with the right set of skills,” Mr Di Cintio said.

About Maria Delgado Gonçalves

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