12 Sep 2012

C4 Class of 2012: ‘So much rejection is dehumanising’

Overall unemployment falls in the last three months, but the number of young people out of work rises to 1.02 million. One 20-year-old tells Channel 4 News that job centres need to do more to help.

C4 Class of 2012: 'So much rejection is dehumanising'

The Olympics and Paralympics helped to boost overall employment in the UK, especially in London, and the percentage of people unemployed fell by 0.1 per cent to 8.1 per cent. The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance also fell to 1.57 million – the largest drop since 2010, according to the latest quarterly figures from the Office for National Statistics.

However outside of the capital and away from the reach of the Olympics, the picture is not so optimistic. The number of part-time workers is at the highest level since employment records began – that includes a record 1.42 million people who would like to be working full-time but have been unable to find work.

There was also a rise in the number of people out of work for more than a year and bad news for the 16-24-year-old age group: youth unemployment rose by 7,000 to 1.02 million in the three months to July.

Your experience of #C4Classof2012
Laura Bartley: I’m 23, graduated in 2010 and spent 18 months unemployed, got a temp job that ended after 6 months, unemployed again until current job as part time Receptionist..

Richard ‘Jake’ Porter: Every fortnight the amount of people signing on in the jobcentre increases. This morning the line was at the door. I’ve been searching for over 4 years now

Darren Greenidge: It’s always about that age bracket. Yes, It’s very hard for them out there but It’s very hard for ALL age groups, especially if you’re over 30. It’s about experience in a qualified job or a strong CV.

After finishing her A-levels, Chelsie was put off going to university because of increased fees and decided to try and enter the world of work instead. She’s now working with Battlefront, the campaigning youth programme on Channel 4. However her experience of job-hunting over the last year has been “dehumanising”, she told Channel 4 News, and much more difficult that she expected:

My dream job would be working for a charity, in third world development ideally. When I first left college last year, I was looking for charity work.

I got on a means-test apprenticeship through one of the government’s apprenticeship schemes and did an internship with a charity in Manchester and in India. It allowed me to gain a lot of experience in the work that I want to do.

I thought it would be an easy route to work after that. But that wasn’t the case.

Day to day, I have to apply for tons of jobs – around 20 placements a week. When you’re not getting any letters, no responses, you feel like you’re just a number. I started to feel like I was a bit of a zombie.

Once you get so much rejection – it’s dehumanising, it starts to grate on you. I started to feel like I was a bit of a zombie. From such a high [of the internship], to come so much back down.

Your experience of #C4Classof2012
Theresa Earley: Try living in Northern Ireland and applying for graduate level jobs in the mainland, flights, hotels all cost money on top of student debt. Nohelp from anyone with expenses.

Andrew ‘Andy’ Thomas: twenty six and trying to find work in a South Wales where public sector cuts are deep is a nightmare! Out of work for a year after redundancy

The job centre should treat people more as individuals. I think they need to have more specific placements for young people – they are very different from the average 40-year-old looking for work.

Sometimes I wonder is it because I haven’t been to university, but a lot of it is due to experience. And there’s so many people applying for the same job.

I have to credit my school. We had a special careers advice section and I went on work experience in Year 10 to the immigration tribunal in London, which was brilliant experience. It’s just hard times at the moment.

I think we need to appreciate that it’s really difficult. There is still a massive number of young people out of work, and it’s really difficult.

Chelsie is hosting a pop-up forum about youth unemployment at 1pm in Covent Garden Piazza on Friday, allowing unemployed young people to have their voices heard. Read more about Chelsie on her blog and follow this link to support the Battlefront campaign.