Careers Beyond Covid-19: What’s happening in the job market this June?

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

For those of you who are about to look for a job – whether it’s a placement, grad role or paid summer work – we know that things feel pretty uncertain. We know you have probably been keeping up to date with what’s going on in the job market, but we wanted to help by providing a round-up of latest news all in one place, along with suggestions of where to find opportunities. We’ll hand over to one of our Employer Engagement Officers, Will Dunn, for this month’s update.

In the YFP team we’re keeping a close eye on local and national labour markets. A really valuable resource we’ve been using is the monthly updates from Luminate Prospects. This is national-level, and some of the most interesting findings from the analysis include:

  • Since bottoming out in March, the job market has remained stable – there’s not a lot of new growth though it as at least no longer declining.
  • The graduate labour market has suffered – particularly in the arts – but things are definitely looking better for graduates than non-graduates.
  • Many SME’s are running short of cash and therefore recruitment is not a possibility for them right now.
  • It is now very clear that there is a significantly greater interest in postgraduate study than usual, but many students are clear that they want a ‘traditional’ experience, not a virtual one.
  • Many employers are yet to make firm decisions about recruitment for the rest of 2020. Some businesses have quietly shelved recruitment plans, but others are – equally quietly – making plans to recruit if the opportunity and business conditions allow.
  • Salaries are likely to remain stagnant or even fall.
  • Decisions made about recruitment and business strength this year will also affect next year’s recruitment round.
  • There is rising concern about the way the collapse in employment in retail and services might affect term-time jobs for students in the future and thus the ability for students from less advantaged backgrounds to support themselves at university.
  • There has clearly been a sharp fall in the service sector, with the accommodation and food sector seeing a 40.9% drop over the three months, and the crucially important retail sector falling by 14.5%. However, now that social distancing measures are starting to be relaxed, there is hope that these areas will have a chance to grow once more.
  • While the proportion of businesses online sales have increased lately, it’s also interesting to note that the ONS are reporting a slight increase in the number of firms newly reporting VAT – in other words newly trading firms – in May. The number is well below the rolling five year average but is another piece of evidence suggesting that the worst for now has passed.

To read Charlie Ball’s analysis for June in full, go to Luminate Prospects.

In terms of personal experience of talking to local employers, I’ve been having more conversations, particularly with technology and software companies, as well as transport and logistics. They have been keen to discuss partnerships for the coming academic year as well as offering project-based short-term placements. Additionally I’ve spoken to employers who are very empathetic to the circumstances our students will be graduating into, and who are keen to offer support in the form of mentoring or work experience opportunities. To this end we’re looking at building a more formal and structured YFP mentoring programme through our large alumni network. Watch this space!

On a local level, we recommend for students to access graduate and work experience opportunities through Your Future Plan portal – remembering to use the job search tool on Careers Explorer as well as the opportunities on the main YFP site – combined, these are two fantastic resources. And it’s great to be able to share with you that Gfirst LEP have partnered with to provide a single point of job vacancies in Gloucestershire.

We know that it can seem pretty bleak, but the most recent updates are starting to feel more hopeful regarding a bounce-back in the economy with more opportunities starting to surface both locally and nationally. So my suggestion would be to stay optimistic, up-skill wherever you can and grab any opportunity that comes. Above all, be flexible.

And in case you missed it – YFP’s Careers Beyond Covid-19 offer is a fantastic resource for our final year students looking for events, jobs and development opportunities.

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