With more than one million jobless 18-24 year olds across the UK, the labour market is as gloomy as ever.
While the majority of graduates deal with the situation by trawling the internet for vacancies and sending out cover letters and CVs by the truckload, one has decided that this is not enough – and has voiced a televised protest with a chart-topping celebrity.
Ava Patel, a Nottingham Trent graduate, sang with acclaimed vocalist Paloma Faith and 13 other campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament to bring the government’s attention to the gravity of the situation at hand.
The protest, which voiced concerns about youth unemployment in a unique manner, was kick started as the Tory Party Conference got underway, and was filmed as part of the Channel 4 series Battlefront.
It is little wonder that Ava, who studied journalism at university and now lives in Blackburn, has resorted to such extreme measures – she has been looking for work ever since she graduated from the East Lancashire university two years ago.
She said: “I know what it is like being unemployed when all you want to do is work. It is completely demoralising. You leave university with all the hopes and dreams and they are smashed into pieces.”
Along with the rest of the ‘Youth Voice Collective’, the 23-year-old aims to drive youth unemployment up to the top of the political agenda.
“The government need to realise what young people face when they leave education. You can’t get a job because you don’t have experience so you are in a vicious circle,” she added.
Paloma Faith also struggled to find a job after university, and like Ava wants to raise awareness of youth unemployment.
“Unemployment affects more people than you think and it was great to hear it from Paloma herself,” Ava said.
“Hopefully we can now raise the issue and give young people the work and skills they deserve.”
Are you currently looking for jobs for graduates? How far would you go to get a foot on the career ladder?