HOPE is at hand for school leavers, with research showing rising numbers being recruited directly from schools because firms have realised young people are being put off by tuition fee hikes.

The findings come as New College Swindon prepares to welcome 16 to 18-year-olds to an intensive one-week jobs course to learn skills making them attractive to employers.

The majority of leading employers are setting up apprenticeships or school-leaver recruitment programmes instead of limiting vacancies to applicants with a degree, the Association of Graduate Recruiters has found. Firms have widened their recruitment searches because of concerns that bright pupils are avoiding higher education after the introduction of tuition fees of up to £9,000 in England last year.

It also emerged that almost a third of employers failed to fill all graduate jobs last year despite the intense competition.

The course at New College will help young people to put together applications, write CVs and will provide them with a mock interview with tips to help make a good impression on prospective employers.

Chris Baish, team leader for foundation learning at New College, said: “It’s an obvious statement but there is more competition for every job, and it is not only about your academic ability, but how you sell yourself to a potential employer. There is no need to give up heart.

“It’s about knowing how to go about it, and there are careers advisors at the college to give advice about how to write a CV, put together an application and give yourself an edge. We also invite employers into college to find out what they are looking for and we are hoping to have Nationwide take part in the course.”

The course takes place for a week from February 18. Contact Maggie Burton on 01793 611470 or email beemployable@newcollege.ac.uk


A SWINDON jobseeker has turned to Twitter in his hunt for work.

Sean Stroud, 37, left Honda with 1,000 other assembly line staff when the company restructured its workforce in 2009. He retrained in IT but 18 months on is still looking for work and will now competing with another 1,000 associates due to leave the South Marston car plant.

Sean said: “I am hitting the wall every time. It’s very hard, I don’t have the experience companies are looking for.

“I retrained but I don’t have the experience companies are looking for in this day and age. There are quite a lot of people applying for the jobs I am applying for.”

Sean’s account can be found @PLSGlVEMEAJOB.