Half of recent UK
graduates are either underemployed or jobless

Official figures show that around 46% of recent UK graduates work in low-skilled, non-graduate roles.

This means that one in every two recent graduates are struggling. Young people from less privileged backgrounds fare the worst.

The situation has been getting worse year on year. Recent UK graduates today are more likely to get stuck in a non-graduate, low-skilled job than ten years ago. [1]

[1] Based on official figures pubished by the national statistics institute of the United Kingdom. See: Office for National Statistics (25 May 2016) Percentage of graduates working in non-graduate roles in London and the UK: 2011 to 2015. Reference number 005742.

Please note: Researchers at the University of Warwick and the University of the West of England have defined a non-graduate role as one which is associated with tasks that do not normally require knowledge and skills developed through higher education to enable them to perform these tasks in a competent manner. Examples of non-graduate jobs include receptionists, sales assistants, taxi drivers, security guards, baristas, construction workers, many types of factory workers, and care workers.

A recent graduate is defined as a graduate who left full-time education within five years of the survey date.

Percentage of recent UK graduates working in non-graduate roles | Source: ONS

Over half of UK businesses think recent graduates are unprepared for work.

What is Missing

Work experience + Soft skills

The majority (76%) of UK firms believe a lack of work experience is the reason why young people are unprepared for work.

Similarly, more than half (57%) of UK firms insist that young people are lacking basic ‘soft skills’ such as analytical thinking.[2]

[2] Based on a large-scale survey of 2,885 businesses across the UK. See: British Chambers of Commerce (2014) Workforce Survey 2014

Young People Are Given Few
Opportunıties By Employers

Why ?

6%

Only a handful (6%) of UK firms offer internships to young people in education.

27%

Just around a quarter (27%) of larger companies (100+ employees) recruit interns.

62%

The majority (62%) of UK employers do not even offer work experience placements.[3]

[3] Based on a survey of 18,059 organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – which is one of the largest employer surveys in the world. See: UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2014) UKCES Employer Perspective Survey 2014

Result

No Experience. No Decent Job.

Millions of young people are stuck in a ‘no experience, no job — no job, no experience’ cycle. This problem is too big to ignore. The social cost of alienated and frustrated youth is high for us all.

It is Time For a Solution

Change

What we do
What we do

Over half of our volunteers are university students and recent graduates aged 25 or under. They work with us on challenging management consultancy projects, tackle intellectually demanding tasks, and get hands-on work experience.

What we do

During this process, our volunteers build career skills such as teamwork, problem solving, communication and critical thinking — all of which are valued by employers. Many of our volunteers have gone on to secure desirable jobs following this experience.

What we do
Why it works
Why it works

We strive to ensure our volunteers gain valuable insight into the world of work. In a standard project, they interact with clients directly, work closely with their project manager and like-minded volunteers, and help solve real business problems.[4]

Why it works

In addition, our projects are specifically designed to be fitted around academic or professional schedules and require only 10-12 hours of work per week. We ask our volunteers to spend no more than 15 hours on their projects in any week.[5]

Why it works

[4] Young people have few options (e.g. internships) to gain exposure to the world of work. Yet such opportunities may fail to offer an enhancing experience to young people. For example, in some cases interns do menial tasks rather than anything intellectually challenging.

[5] It is often hard to commit to existing opportunities while studying or working full-time — they usually require a commitment of around 40 hours a week.


Our Social Impact

Building skills, confidence and resilience in young people

Our Social Impact

Dozens of our former volunteers now work at leading organisations and tell us that our
programme helped them secure these jobs. This is what drives us.

Testimonials