Despite a gloomy forecast, youth unemployment is not as bad as many young people think, a careers advice service has reassured.
More than one million 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK are currently jobless, leading to the common perception youth unemployment is at an all-time high. In fact, the highest level recorded was during 1984, when 1.2m youths were out of work.
But the misconception is also held by career advisers and graduate recruiters themselves. A survey conducted during the Association of Graduate Recruiters conference, held earlier this year, revealed perceptions were more pessimistic than reality.
Conference members were asked to answer the following question: "In which year was the highest ever level of youth unemployment recorded in the UK according to the ONS?" They were then invited to choose from three possible answers: 1984, 1993 and 2011.
A total of 44% incorrectly believed youth unemployment was at an all-time high in 2011, while 19% thought that youth unemployment was at its worst in 1993.
Jack Collins, managing editor of AllAboutCareers.com, said: "It's important for young people to stay positive about their career prospects. There are thousands of fantastic opportunities out there for school leavers, students and graduates. Candidates just need the right advice, the right encouragement and the right information.
"If you have self-motivation and a genuine belief in your ability to secure a job, you will be far more successful in your applications and interviews. Careers advisers, graduate recruiters and careers information websites like ours need to ignore the scaremongering and help young people discover the wealth of opportunities out there."
But Alice, a 24-year-old unemployed graduate, disagreed.
"It's easy to say 'it's not as bad as you think' if you've got a job," she told The Huffington Post UK.
"But when you're having to queue up at job centres, when you're on the dole and you've got a degree, it's demoralising. There is nothing worse than being unemployed. At the moment, I feel completely hopeless."