With the credit crisis causing thousands of job losses in white-collar professions, ministers are engaged in crisis talks with major employers in a bid to find posts for the 400,000 students due to graduate from universities this summer.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, John Denham, the Skills Secretary, discloses that four well-known companies – including Barclays and Microsoft – have already agreed to take part in the scheme, provisionally called the National Internship Scheme.

Err, maybe it\’s simply that the country, the economy, doesn\’t need 400,000 graduates each year?

Given that the graduate premium has been shrinking, to the point that for a male arts graduate it is now negative, perhaps we\’ve just got too many people going to university in the first place?

8 thoughts on “Hmmm”

  1. Because of the unique way the BBC is funded surely they can perform their traditional role of mopping up useless arts graduates?

  2. The rumours I’m hearing around the internet are that Microsoft are cutting, and I’m surprised if Barclays are taking on lots of people, considering the state of the banking industry.

    Mark my words – if someone digs deeper into this scheme, they’ll probably find it’s a charade.

  3. Internship implies working for free or a pittance at least. If it is forced on someone isn’t that slavery?

    What about those losing their jobs at these companies, I would think they won’t be best pleased. If the interns aren’t doing their jobs directly it will still leave a bitter taste.

  4. Well, the government is thought to be considering raising the school-leaving age to keep a few hundred thousand yoofs off the streets. Perhaps they should raise the university-leaving age as well.

    Or offshore child-rearing to India.

  5. We have too many graduates in the fashionable subjects like golf club management, and media studies. What the hell are we expected to do with these people?

    But we don’t have enough graduates in the “hard” sciences, engineering, languages, mathematics. The paradox is that a training in applied science sets a graduate up for a wide range of disciplines, including forensic science, architecture, IT, civil engineering, it gives them transferrable skills.

    We have really not done these youngsters any favours by stampeding them onto degree courses that are useless, that drove them into debt, and have now made them less employable than if they left school with a couple of A levels.

  6. It also reflects the government’s struggles with the concept of skills and the need to improve them to cope with globalisation.

    The objective of putting 50% of school pupils into university is probably the most ill-thought through result of this debate.

  7. When I was a student I think only about 5%-7% of young folks went to uinversity. Noo Labour are ramping up the numbers. OK, but where are they going? Do you need a degree in art history to flip burgers?

  8. we don’t have enough graduates in the “hard” sciences, engineering, languages, mathematics

    Rubbish. If we didn’t have enough engineers, then a chartered engineer would get paid a great deal more than gbp30k. They don’t, so we’ve pretty obviously got at least enough.

    On a similar basis, we have too few lawyers and accountants (largely because those professions artificially restrict supply, but even so…)

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