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Younger generation and jobs

(96 Posts)
Tedflowerybaker Wed 23-Oct-19 21:06:29

Currently helping my friends daughter look for a job. We’ve updated her C.V and cover letter, really trying to make them stand out so she’s got a fair chance at being invited to an interview.

Luckily I’ve never been out of work and have been in the same job for around 7 years now so I rarely ever look at job sites. Nothing spectacular but I earn a fairly decent wage, have weekends off and a very generous holiday allowance so all in all I’m happy. I’m early 30’s (if it’s relevant)

We’ve been scouring the job sites looking for something decent. It needs to be full time. She finished school with good A-levels but wasn’t interested in attending college. She doesn’t know what she wants to do as of yet so is willing to try her hand at anything.

AIBU to be surprised at the amount of rubbish jobs that are advertised?

There are the minimum wage roles offering 10 hours a week and the candidate needs to be fully flexible 7 days a week in order to stand a chance at getting the job. How on earth could someone afford to live off such a small wage though?

Or the care assistant roles which are two hours a day at £9.50 an hour. Surely they could stretch to £10 and just pay the poor carer £20 for the session.

The best one was a live in support worker role providing 24/7 care for an older man. The carer would be paid £120 for the day but have £30 taken off their wages for being in the clients home and using their facilities etc. I thought that was outrageous, especially since the whole point of the job was the carer had to work in the clients home, so why punish the carer for it?

Even if they attend uni and study really hard in a specific subject, their still not guaranteed a decent job afterwards.
I remember when I left school and was looking, there was so much more available and this was back when employers were actually happy to take trainees on and give them a fair chance. Now most employers want someone who already has the experience or qualifications.

I’m honestly so glad I found my job when I did and touch wood I will never have to look for work or be in such a difficult position but AIBU in feeling sorry for the younger generation when they leave school and have to look for a job?

GhostofFrankGrimes Thu 24-Oct-19 06:42:28

I left education after a levels and got a public sector job. That was 20 years ago when there was a government investing in jobs. For the last ten years we've had a government stripping away workers rights coupled with stagnating wages.

DisneyMadeMeDoIt Thu 24-Oct-19 06:54:06


Because I’m closer to 27 and was 16 when I was looking for supermarket jobs (as mentioned in my post). You’re two years younger than me, you were in Yr9- I was in Yr11. I was also working FT by 18 (2-3 years after the crash)

historysock Thu 24-Oct-19 06:58:13

£9.50 is actually pretty good for care unfortunately.
But yes I agree. I've actually just left a care company where I was the manager because the MD wanted to change the t and c of the carers from their contracted hours (some of which stipulated week days only) to say they had to be available 7 days a week. And increase their hourly pay by 10p but not pay them any extra at weekends. (They used to get £1.50 more weekend rate). I couldn't bring myself to even start having those conversations with my teams as I felt it was so wrong!
Those are the conditions in entry level and care work posts though. Rubbish but at least your friend there is in a position to be able to do work like that-lots of people (with families and houses to pay for) aren't.
It really galls me when the government release employment figures and drivel on about how they are up. Yes they are, because they include people having to work 2 hours a day for minimum wage as that's all there is- but they aren't making an actual living.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Thu 24-Oct-19 06:59:22

Welcome to the jobs market in 2019. It's shit. It's not much better for the experienced and more highly qualified either.

AJPTaylor Thu 24-Oct-19 07:01:31

She could do a whole lot worse than doing a business admin apprenticeship. Have a look at the apprenticeships website. Decent candidates with a levels are very welcome! It's a year but they move one with good stuff on their cv.

TheBiscuitStrikesBack Thu 24-Oct-19 07:03:38

I’ve just calculated that I was paid £3.29/hr when I left school 17 years ago. 35 hours a week as an accounts assistant. I thought I was loaded.

CAG12 Thu 24-Oct-19 07:07:26

But A levels arrnt particularly a gateway to employment. Id suggest she look up an apprentiship

Citygirl2019 Thu 24-Oct-19 08:29:29

She needs to look at what NEET initiatives there are in the area.

Another option is a traineeship (this is more like work experience), they can often lead to apprenticeships.

Also, look at training providers that offer apprenticeships alongside the training. There will be lots of these.

They will be all fairly low paid options, but she will have more chance progressing if she is in one of these schemes.

MeadowHay Thu 24-Oct-19 08:36:19

Just to share my story for a vague bit of sympathy lol. I'm mid twenties, have a first class degree in law from a 'good' uni (IE not an ex-poly, no offence to anyone - lots of my family went to ex-poly's like). I work for a law firm and my FTE salary is £18.5K (NW) although I work PT. I got the job straight after graduating and have recently had a promotion, the grad-entry role was about £15.5K FT salary. Its grim tbh and I do think if I knew what I know now about jobs etc at say 15/16 or at least by about 20/21 as a student, I may well have made very different career choices.

Becles Thu 24-Oct-19 08:54:23

Easiest way to get experience, a foot in the door and money coming in is to sign up with an agency.

Lots of agencies: Reed, Office Angels etc. She also needs to sign up to alerts from indeed and walk the local business park and high street with a cv.

Zaphodsotherhead Thu 24-Oct-19 09:04:26

I would suggest that she talks to lots of people.

Every job I've ever got has been through word of mouth rather than employment sites. Somebody knew somebody who might need an X and I turned up (or emailed or phoned) saying 'I hear you might need an X'...

apart from the job I do now. Which was advertised as 16 hours per week but I rarely work less than 30.

SansaSnark Thu 24-Oct-19 09:19:09

I agree with those who say that general jobs boards/sites tend not to be a great place to find work. There are some industry specific job sites which are better, or as others have said, you need to check individual company websites etc. Who are the big employers in your area? Have you checked their websites directly?

I disagree that it's worth sending out standard cvs- most companies want a tailored application, and often have their own application form.

If she wants to get in with a larger company, call centre work can sometimes be a way to get a foot in the door. There's often opportunities for progression with the company if you're able to stick it out for a while.

But as others have said, there aren't loads of opportunities for people who have left school with a-levels but don't want to go to uni/haven't learnt some kind of skill/trade.

schafernaker Thu 24-Oct-19 09:24:19

If I were in her shoes I’d be heading to an apprenticeship fair and having a good look there. Ok the initial money isn’t great, but it will build up and train her in a specific area

ghostyslovesheets Thu 24-Oct-19 09:51:08

is a good place to look - I'm surprised there are no office based apprenticeship local to you - usually there are loads!

Also look at the local authority job sites around you - they often have business admin opportunities.

Connexions no longer exists in most areas - ditto an accessible all age careers service but her a level provider should have offered careers advice.

ghostyslovesheets Thu 24-Oct-19 09:53:55

also -

for careers information and online idea generators try:


Jillyhilly Thu 24-Oct-19 10:11:07

She needs to sort out what she wants to do and the rest will come

I disagree with this advice. Waiting to find out what you want to do before doing it doesn’t work for many people. I’ve worked in the Careers area for years and in my experience you work out what you want to do in life by working - crap jobs, good jobs, fun jobs, boring jobs, voluntary jobs. You gain experience, skills and knowledge of yourself and the world with each role and make yourself more desirable to the next employer.

For most of us the world does not hand you a living and never has. The reality is that she has very little to offer the job market right now, so she needs to start anywhere and be completely flexible. Why does the job “need to be full time”? 2 days a week or part-time is better than nothing when you’re trying to build up skills.

With no experience or direction right now she has to think more creatively than just sending in applications to people who don’t know her and have no reason to interview her. Her focus should be on building up skills that will make her more employable.

She could take her CV, dress up smart and go into local pubs, shops, cafes and restaurants to see what’s available. In the meantime or alongside this she could volunteer in a local Charity shop which will show future employers that she has initiative and takes on responsibility.

If she doesn’t want a carer job then she will need good computer skills. Local colleges may offer this but there’s tons of cheap or free online training and she can do this in her spare time. I taught myself excel by looking at YouTube videos.

I agree about signing up with agencies - lots of them. Go in if at all possible, take a CV, look great, smile a lot, show willingness to do anything, make a really good impression. If it’s for office work they will require good computer skills, see above. I’ve worked in recruitment and good reliable temps are hard to find - if she gets an opportunity to go to work she needs to do exactly what is asked and never let them down. They will give her better assignments if she has a reputation as a good worker.

It ain’t easy but it’s not impossible, far from it. Don’t feel sorry for her - she needs encouragement, positivity and a totally can-do attitude.

dayslikethese1 Thu 24-Oct-19 11:35:55

I agree jilly doing loads of different things when you first start out gives you different experiences and gets you interacting with different people and learning about different types of workplaces which can spark idea for the future as well.

I would suggest agencies, usually lots of temp office work available, try all the high street places via their websites (might be too late for xmas posts now but look anyway), post office take on extra workers for xmas, try looking at local bars/cafes (they often have notices in the windows). Call centres often have jobs going and sometimes you can move up (one of my friends became a trainer).

She will probably be on low wage to start as she doesn't really have quals/experience and may have to work more than one job (or can use the extra time to volunteer in something she is interested in if she's living at home and therefore low/no rent).

I agree it's a waste of money to go to uni if she has no idea what to do and isn't particularly interested in a subject. Not sure if YABU as I'm not sure whether it's harder now or not. I'm early 30s too and I certainly did lots of crap jobs at that age.

Sorry long post!

Nomad86 Thu 24-Oct-19 12:50:21

Have you tried accountancy school leaver programmes at the big four? (E&Y, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG). I know PwC used to have a great one where you work part time and study accountancy qualifications.

Have a look at other big companies have anything similar.

BertieBotts Thu 24-Oct-19 13:27:09

7125r if you offer higher pay you attract a better variety of candidates. You can screen out those who just want to do it for the money/wouldn't be very caring or patient (perhaps not all of them but you'd have less). At the moment there are people who probably would be good candidates for care work but they are put off by the low wages so go into other careers instead.

CurlyhairedAssassin Thu 24-Oct-19 18:55:16

I’ve ended up with a couple of FT jobs by being in a temp pt role first. Employers feel more confident offering roles to someone they know could do the job well, who isn’t always off sick, who fits in well with the team, who is conscientious, who learns quickly and is flexible . Etc. It’s hard to get the “soft” stuff across on a CV. Anyone can claim these things on a CV but employers want to see evidence that it’s not just all talk.

If I were her now (and I’m mid 40s, work in education and see how difficult it is for young people to get a decent FT job these days) I would be taking anything in the field I thought I would like to work in. Agencies are great as others said. Temp Christmas work. Bank admin work in NHS. Casual work in the civil service. Once you have a foot in the door, if a better role comes up, employers would go for someone internal who shows potential that they KNOW well, rather than take a punt on a school leaver who sends a CV in.

You have to compromise when you’re young. Travel further than you would. You just can’t afford to be fussy or flakey when you’re trying to build up your CV.

ColaFreezePop Sun 27-Oct-19 21:16:05

Just remembered this thread.

The government offer apprenticeships. So she needs to look for civil service apprenticeships.

Also if she can work in a chip shop she can work in a pub or bar. So she should go in and see if any have any jobs.

Your young friend needs to start asking all older adults she meets that work in offices what exactly they do day-to-day at work, look and act interested e.g. ask follow up questions, then ask them if she could have work experience. It doesn't matter if she doesn't want to be an accountant, marketer or whatever they do she needs to get her foot in the door. One of the things I have noticed amongst family, friends and acquaintances is that if you are under 21 and ask people for help yourself then someone will help you. It doesn't tend to be the people you expect or know well.

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