Will you be affected by public sector job cuts?
The Government recently announced that from August to October this year unemployment in the UK increased by 35,000 to 2.5 million, forcing the UK unemployment rate to 7.9%. Whilst this is mainly due to the loss of 33,000 public sector jobs, the government will soon to pile on more depressing news. 100,000 public servants are likely to have their Christmas ruined by a letter stating that their jobs are at risk, in the face of local council budget cuts and the need to reduce the number of posts by March 31st.
Further statistics reveal that male unemployment increased by 11,000, while the number of unemployed women rose by 24,000 to 1.24 million, which is the highest total since 1988.
Clearly stating what is on everyone’s mind, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, John Walker said that “with inflation expected to remain above 3% in the foreseeable future, combined with public sector job cuts, these unemployment statistics are a worrying sign.”
So, as a recent graduate, where does this leave you? For those who work in the public sector, or were looking to do so, the spectre of unemployment is sadly all too real. However, there is a (dim) light at the end of the tunnel.
At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday David Cameron was quick to point out that the move away from reliance on public services to raise employment levels was already underway: Over the last six months, we have seen [the creation of] 300,000 new private sector jobs.
Evidently the Government is confident the private sector will be able to fill Britain’s increasing unemployment problems. Although Cameron’s statistics suggest this could be viable, there will undoubtedly be a lot more competition for the available jobs which will only enhance the current cut throat environment surrounding the job hunt. This downward pressure on the market will be felt most acutely by graduates who lack experience but are coming up against candidates with one-two years of working under their belts.
Students and university leavers therefore need to equip themselves as best they can before heading into the job market jungle. A CV full of transferable skills and experience relevant to the world of work is the key to impressing employers and an internship is a great way to pack your CV with employer-friendly material. So with tough times potentially around the corner act now to insulate your career against the economic cold.