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Kevin Brady on Graduate Jobs

06 June 2016
Besma Whayeb

AdView's Kevin Brady on Graduate Jobs | In Demand by AdView

Listen to AdView’s very own Kevin Brady on talkRADIO as he tackles questions from Breakfast host Paul Ross on the graduate jobs market.


Below is the complete transcription of Kevin Brady’s latest appearance on talkRADIO which took place on 6th June 2016.

Paul Ross: ”And we are here to help – time for a brand new feature – Just the Job on talkRADIO.

“Joining us to discuss the current UK market – if you’re in work or you’re looking for a new job; if you’re worried about your job coming to an end; if you’re out of work or on a zero hours contract and you’d like to change that, or if you’d like to find a job with a zero hours contract, this is the slot for you.

And Kevin Brady from AdView- that’s AdView – joins us right now. Good morning Kevin!”

Kevin Brady: “Good morning Paul. How are you?”

Paul Ross: “Fine thank you. Now, it’s sometimes said that the jobs market for graduates is as competitive as ever with university leavers fighting it out for a relatively limited supply of jobs.

“One of my daughters has just finished her final year at Leeds – she’s doing Mandarin – she’s applying to different businesses, and you’d be forgiven for thinking with a degree in Mandarin you’d at least get an interview. Nothing so far!

“Do you think that’s the case? Too much competition, too many people going to university almost?”

Kevin Brady: “Well that’s an interesting question Paul. If we were to look at a recent report for example in the Daily Mail, it highlighted that many graduates are forced to seek out temporary, rather than more permanent jobs – and that suggests  aren’t enough suitable graduate jobs in the market at present.”

Paul Ross: “And how do you feel this can be altered? Is it the same, for example, for graduates all over the country?”

Kevin Brady: “Well, we’re finding that it is. There are many graduates with a very career-specific degree – law for example – who end up taking up casual work like bar work or working in a local coffee shop.

Ultimately a lot of graduates end up unable to move into their chosen professions even well after graduation.”

Paul Ross: “So what might the major differences be nationally then Kevin?”

Kevin Brady: “Now I know it might not be the most interesting thing, but if you look at the Office of National Statistics, they highlight that 1 in 6 workers are overqualified for their role.

“Now, you have to bear in mind that the graduate jobs market doesn’t always follow employment trends.”

Paul Ross: ”So if we’re looking at options for graduates, should they hold off from applying on applying for their dream jobs until they’ve maybe got something on their CV either as volunteering work or working in other sectors… or even some kind of work placement scheme?

Should they have something solid on their CV – not just their degree?”

Kevin Brady: “Yes I would agree with that – I certainly agree with that. It’s always good to have a breadth of experience, not just something you did at university, so you can add a bit more for a potential employer.”

Paul Ross: “In fact one of my other daughters, I’ve got lots of daughters Kevin, has just qualified recently to be a sort of student Samaritan.

“And she wants to help other students, but when she was doing the training course for that it was quite demanding, you know, because students have their problems and they’re phoning up anonymously – but she was told in passing – that that would be very good down the line on her CV.

“So it’s those things, those decisions you make at the start of your university degree, can pay benefits later on, I presume?”

Kevin Brady: “Certainly, and it’s also those life skills that you learn – not just those life skills you’d learn just at university – vocationally or educationally – but also what you can bring to an employer from what you’ve learnt from other experiences.”

Paul Ross: “Now, looking at the options for students – particularly the apprenticeship route or degree route – do you think there are a sufficient range of potions and do you think, maybe, too many people are guided towards university when they might want to consider an apprenticeship at eighteen?”

Kevin Brady: “Well, do you know what, I think the question’s actually quite daunting for young people to answer so early in their lives.”

“But here at AdView, we look at things in terms of job prospects. So for example if you’re going to go for an apprenticeship, you need to think about whether you can gain career specific skills and earn a decent wage at the same time.

“Most apprenticeships pay around £250 a week, but also students financial situations and family support can affect whether they choose to go down this route in the first place.”

Paul Ross: “Now in terms of the degree route: I did a humanities degree at uni – I did English many years ago – and I ended up being a journalist and never really used my degree.

“Are students tending to move into careers based on their uni degree, or are there still people like me who just chose a subject because they loved it and are going to decide later what they do?”

Kevin Brady: “Well it’s a good question as well, in my experience – no, generally.

“I’ve got a prime example of that, I work obviously at AdView and one of my colleagues, Jessica, studied drama at university, but she now works in an account management role.

“She recently said to me there just aren’t enough graduate roles out there – or certainly not in the North-East where we’re based.”

Paul Ross: “Now recently there’ve been reports, and it may just be people being dismissive of students, in the way that people say A-Levels have gotten easier – and I don’t think they have – there’ve been reports that graduates don’t have the suitable skills for many roles and some applicants for apprenticeships have been low in numbers.”

“What advice would you give to, say, somebody from sixteen upwards to make sure they build up relevant skills and have skills on their CV that are worthwhile to an employer?”

Kevin Brady: “I mean, again, it’s quite hard for a young person to look that far ahead into the future, because you may not be in that position for a long period of time.

But I would personally advise people to look carefully at apprenticeships, because they need to think whether or not that apprenticeship will lead to a suitable career at the end of it.”

Paul Ross: “OK, let’s cut to the chase now, as they used to say in the silent movie days: money, money, money – people are going to work because they love their job if they’re lucky, but most people want to try and earn a decent living, they want to try and get a foot on the property ladder – you know, they want to earn.

“But you have any figures of the overall earning for degree or apprenticeship candidates? You know, who might end up earning more money, Kevin?”

Kevin Brady: “Well, do you know, this may surprise a few people but in terms of a university degree, graduates are actually predicted to earn £500,000 more in their lifetime than non-graduates. So this can sometimes…”

Paul Ross: “Woah woah woah woah! Half a – half a-million pounds more?”

Kevin Brady: “Yeah, yeah – I know, it’s unbelievable isn’t it?”

Paul Ross: “Am I going to get a big cheque in the post at some stage?”

Kevin Brady: “Yes – I’m actually working on that now for you Paul, you’ll have it first thing once we’re finished the call!”

University leavers are saddled with debt, I know everyone’s aware of that, and if they do end up heading into the wrong career, they can often find it really tricky to change career routes mid-career, because at that point they may not have the relevant skills to do so.

“At AdView we’re always looking at trends and how we can make our job search as effective as possible for graduates and job seekers as a whole.”

Paul Ross: “Kevin – we appreciate your time this morning. Thank you very much indeed. That was Kevin Brady there from AdView you can hear from him the same time next week.

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