Jobcentres in Scotland are telling graduates to dumb down their CVs in order to secure "survival" jobs such as cleaning, a report has revealed.
Nearly 80% of graduates said the Jobcentre had been unhelpful in finding a graduate level job, while 64% said the centres were unhelpful in assisting them with finding any jobs at all.
"I felt like I had to dumb down my qualifications in order to find a job through the Jobcentre. I wasn't prepared to do this and was not made to feel comfortable as a result."
22-year-old graduate in Languages: Interpreting and Translating
The damning Degrees of Insecurity report, compiled by Citizens Advice Scotland, found there are "high levels of frustration and disillusionment amongst graduates that the time, money and effort they have spent obtaining a degree is ‘wasted’ when they cannot secure employment in a relevant field". One Art History graduate recalled how it was suggested their qualification and level of education served as a deterrent to possible future employers.
The majority of graduates questioned felt Jobcentres are not set up to deal with graduates, with many university leavers feeling they had been "forced" into applying for positions which they are over-qualified for and may have little relevance to their degrees.
Only 1% said the Jobcentre service had been helpful in finding a degree-level job.
"At the group meetings we were encouraged to leave any degree off the CV to help us find more plentiful unskilled work. Nobody would employ me as a cleaner if I had a degree. I was told to stop looking for graduate work and take a 'survival' job." 25-year-old Law graduate
Despite the case studies, the survey has been deemed "statistically invalid" but the director of Universities Scotland, Alastair Sim, who said the report had been "unashamedly targeted at graduates who have struggled to find work".
"It is completely unrepresentative of the graduate population as a whole and paints a far more negative picture than is actually the case."
He emphasised 93% of Scotland's graduates progress to "positive destinations" within six months of leaving university
But many university leavers also felt employers were denying them opportunities and citing a lack of experience as the reason for not employing them, with one describing a degree as a "blank colouring-in book".
Another graduate recounted the inconsistent service at one centre, with some advisers "genuinely keen" to help, while others "barely talk to me, I'm just there to sign my name and leave".
In addition, the survey, which questioned 954 graduates, found from school through to university there is a general lack of focus on:
- Alternatives to going to university
- General employability skills and experience that will be required in the work place
- Exploring the transferrable skills which students have gained at university
The CAS has recommended universities ensure employability skills are a core part of course curriculums, with a focus on how to create more employable graduates.
In response to the survey, a Department of Work and Pensions spokesperson said: "There's lots of help out there for jobseekers, including young people and graduates. Jobcentre Plus advisers can help with skills and training, work experience is available for those who need it and the New Enterprise Allowance helps claimants set up their own business."
Since 2008 unemployment rates of 16-24 year-olds in Scotland has risen from 55,000 to 100,000.
Klemen Strajhar of Slovenia prepares to arch during the Archery Ranking Round on Olympics Opening Day as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Lord's Cricket Ground on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo credit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Romain Girouille of France reacts during the ranking round of the men's archery individual event at the Lord's Cricket Ground in London on July 27, 2012 during the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Photo credit: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/GettyImages)
Jacques Rogge (R), President of the International Olympic Committee looks on next to IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams during an IOC Press Conference ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Main Press Centre in Olympic Park on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo credit: Harry How/Getty Images)
Officials prepare the targets during the Archery Ranking Round on Olympics Opening Day as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Lord's Cricket Ground on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo credit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
South Korea's Im Dong-Hyun celebrates as he brokes his own 72-arrow world record in the archery ranking round with a score of 699 at the Lord's Cricket Ground in London on July 27, 2012 at the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Photo credit: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/GettyImages)
Great Britain's Simon Terry in action during the Men's Individual Archery Ranking Round at Lord's Cricket Ground, on Friday July 27, 2012. (Photo credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire.)
Great Britain's Alan Wills in action during the Men's Individual Archery Ranking Round at Lords Cricket Ground, London. Picture date: Friday July 27, 2012. (Photo credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire.)
A general view of the Men's Individual Archery Ranking Round at Lords Cricket Ground, London, on Friday July 27, 2012. (Photo credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire.)
Members of the University of Florida marching band perform during US First Lady Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move-London' event at the Winfield House in London on July 27, 2012, hours before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Photo credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages)
French swimmer Coralie Balmy wears nail polish in the colors of the national flag as she prepares for a practice session at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)
Olympic Gold Medalist rower Torchbearer 011 Matthew Pinsent lights the cauldron with the Olympic Flame on the Royal rowbarge Gloriana as it makes it way down the River Thames towards Tower Bridge. (Photo credit: PA)
Olympic Gold Medalist rower Torchbearer 011 Matthew Pinsent stands in front of the Great Gate at Hampton Court Palace holding the Olympic Flame during the final Day of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. (Photo credit: PA)
A flotilla of boats accompanies the Queen's rowbarge 'Gloriana' carries the Olympic flame along the river Thames from Hampton Court to City Hall on the final day of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on July 27, 2012 in London, England. The Olympic flame is making its way through the capital on the final day of its journey around the UK before arriving in the Olympic Stadium tonight for the Olympic games' Opening Ceremony. (Photo credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Volunteers arrive at the Olympic park, as final preparations take place for the start of The Olympic Games. (Photo credit: PA)
Police officers arrive at the Olympic park, as final preparations take place for the start of The Olympic Games. (Photo credit: PA)
Specialists secure the location of a freight train accident near Hosena, Germany, 27 July 2012. Both train drivers were severely injured in the accident. (Photo credit: PA/Matthias Hiekel)
President Francois Hollande shakes hands with Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara prior to a meeting at Elysee Presential Palace in Paris, France on July 26, 2012. (Photo credit: Stephane Lemouton/ABACAPRESS.COM)
Oldtimers prepare for the start of the 2nd ADAC Rallye AVUS Classic at the parking place of the AVUS city motorway in Berlin, Germany, 27 July 2012. In total, 123 rare oldtimers take part in the 450 km race. (Photo credit: PA/WOLFGANG KUMM)
Palestinian women passing an Israeli checkpoint on their way to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, on the second Friday off the Muslim holy month of Ramadan near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, July 27, 2012. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year which lasts 30 days, during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)