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Scottish CAB Service to investigate plight of unemployed graduates

Citizens Advice Scotland will today (Tuesday 10 April) formally launch a major national survey of recent graduates who are struggling to find work.

The online survey is open till 7 May, and is aimed at anyone in Scotland who has graduated in the last 6 years. It will seek their views on their current situation and their hopes for the future. It will also ask how well they think their University prepared them for the job market, and how well they feel they are treated now by the jobcentre, by the government and by employers.

Launching the survey today, CAS Acting Chief Executive Susan McPhee said:

“We’re undertaking this research because for some time now CAB advisers across Scotland have been reporting an increase in the numbers of graduates who are facing financial problems because they can’t get work. We want to investigate the extent of these problems, and to give those affected a platform to have their say.

“It used to be the case that a degree would lead to economic security. Since the recession, however, the outlook for recent graduates has been bleak. In the final quarter of 2011 the unemployment rate for recent graduates was 18.9% - more than double the national average. Meanwhile 35.9% of graduates who are in work find themselves in a lower level of employment.

“With this survey we are providing a platform to allow these people to speak up about their situation. We want them to tell us about their experiences of jobseeking, their attitudes towards the job centre, their views on what support is available from government, and whether they think they’ll be able to find suitable work in the future.

“The survey is open to graduates of all ages. However, it is usually younger people who are most likely to be affected by these issues. As young people don’t have much work experience many employers are often reluctant to give them a chance, while those who do manage to get work are often victim to a ‘last in, first out’ redundancy policy.

“Many graduates have told us they feel that all the time, money and effort spent on their education now seems worthless. Some have told us they feel nobody ever listens to them. Well, we are listening now, and we promise that we will take the information you give us very seriously and will present it to both governments and all other relevant agencies so that they will do the same.

“So we invite all recent graduates based in Scotland to complete the survey now. You will find it on our website at or on our Facebook page.”