Employment of Recent Graduates

London’s Emerging Leaders organization just released survey results about attitudes of younger workers resulting from lack of employment opportunities. The unemployment rate amongst recent graduates is higher than the general unemployment rate, and I suspect many who are employed are under employed.

Are employers partly to blame for this? One of the problems cited by the Emerging Leaders executive director is the typical requirement of “3 to 5 years experience“. Employers surveyed ranked ambition and attitude ahead of qualifications as the top factor in hiring a candidate. But how would an employer ever know that a job candidate had ambition and the right attitude if they don’t interview a recent graduate because they don’t have 3 years experience? I also suspect employers only consider post-grad work as experience, when may current grads have a significant amount of quality volunteer experience while in school.


  1. Employers want someone else to do basic training. No one wants to run an apprenticeship program, even if such a program would be beneficial to the individual employers, and to the whole industry/sector/profession. Then employers complain because they can’t find anyone qualified, and want to import foreigners to fill their jobs (once foreign employers or apprenticeship programs have done the training.)

    Is this as true in law – which across the country offers articling positions – as elsewhere? Are law firms deciding that a call to the Bar after articles is still not enough? I suspect it is, to a large extent. Some law position advertisements say that the firm will consider recent calls, but many do not.

    Of course we also read of the outside clients demanding that no recent calls or overly junior lawyers must work on their files, so what’s a firm to do?