After three years studying English and Music, 22-year-old Jamie Fox has done what many other graduates are struggling to achieve.
Despite the glum graduate labour market, he has managed to find a job – working as a human scarecrow.
He is even managing to incorporate components of his music degree into his new job, which consists of playing the ukulele, accordion and cowbell in order to scare partridges away from crops.
Jamie earns £250 a week for keeping the birds away from a 10-acre field of oilseed rape in Aylsham, Norfolk.
Stating that he gets to spend most of his day reading and being out in the fresh air, the Bangor University graduate says it is “not a bad job”.
Some of his pals in busier, better-paid jobs are even “slightly envious” according to Jamie – but working as a human scarecrow is unlikely to have topped his list of dream jobs post graduation.
Jamie, who is saving for a trip to New Zealand next year, said: “'I don’t want to be a scarecrow forever but it is giving me time to decide what I will do with my future.”
His fortnight-long stint in the fields shows the desperate situation graduates face after their studies at university come to a close.
With many struggling to find a permanent job in their chosen field, a significant number of graduates are being forced to alter their long-held career aspirations, take up part-time work irrelevant to their degree or career – or remain jobless whilst sending out their CVs every which way.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom: according to industry body Work Wise UK, the number of graduate jobs
is starting to pick up.
The group has argued that employers are beginning to target graduates directly for an increasing amount of roles, after years of recruiting new staff from other groups.
Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, insisted that large UK banks are beginning to take on degree-holders in "reasonable numbers", after cutting graduate recruitment levels over the last two years.