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Osaro Ewansiha, Head Of Marketing, Classof2020

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In the wise words of @BoyzIIMen “now we’ve come to the end of the road”…  what’s next?

The Student Recruitment market, or Mad Max Fury Road?

Educational correspondent Sally Weale recently noted:

  • 61% of UK businesses scrapped all work placements and internships. 
  • 39% of graduate employers are expected to hire fewer to none at all from the graduate pool.
  • 11% of young people across the UK have had interviews cancelled.
  • 4% of young people across the UK have had their offers withdrawn.

Governmental statistics for young people leaving higher education are far from satisfactory. The Coronavirus pandemic has altered the jobs market, infiltrated the novelty of student employment and diminished the harrowing transition between work and education. 

Student and graduate opportunities have become a prospect of luxury. There are challenging times ahead, and things do not look promising. Ignoring the statistics serves to mask the despondency to this crisis, with the belief that: ‘if I keep applying a job will come.’ But, living to this detriment has negative implications on your attitude, your perseverance and your ability to grow beyond your service. 

There is nothing in these statistics to suggest that you are only permitted to learn when you are ‘employed’. There is nothing to suggest you can only develop your skills and build a career by simply being ‘employed.’ The only employment that truly matters is whether or not you chose to employ the free and accessible resources available to you. 

‘…money, money, money must be funny in a rich man’s world…’

As young people, living at home with friends or relatives, the pressure of becoming an economic burden is ever burning at the back our minds. Learning for learning’s sake is great, but this is capitalism – people need money to get by. 

In times of crisis, economic governmental assistance is vital to your student, graduate learning experience. We encourage signing up to the Universal credit scheme: a source of government funding that will support you through this strenuous recession. The scheme carries stigmas, understandably. You’ve worked hard, always had the top grades, and now Iive off government support – ‘benefits.’

But examine it differently, what difference is the support your teachers and educators provide you during your studies? Both carry the same principle: helping you make it to the next step.

If you are able to see it for what it is and how it should function, the opportunities around you start to change. You are using a source of accessible funding to allow you to support your educational learning. A small pot of money to help you develop and continue your big dreams.

The future of education: a world re-imaged.

Now that we’ve come to the end of the road, the only way to continue is to try something new, explore a new path, which in turn is knowledge and information that can only better and further experience. 

Educational learning, vocational or academic, is the greatest value you have access too. Nothing and no one can remove or diminish your ability to learn and gain insight. 

There are no jobs; not ideal. But with the support of the Class of 2020 organization we provide and encourage continued learning that serves your growth, builds your character and allow you to develop new skills. 

Water to wine, 

Lemons to lemonade, 

Uncertainty to opportunity. 

The young minds of Generation Z have a level of cultural, racial, ethnic and multi-skilled cognizance that gives gravity to their resilience, and their profound ability to survive the economic struggles this pandemic has carried.

A study by USA today found that Generation Z are the most creative and diverse Generation in human history. iGen and Millennial researcher, Jason Dorsey, found that they’re diversity and dynamism are so effervescent, they do not notice these qualities unless they are absent.

Young people, across the country, around the world, will create the opportunity that the world does not provide them. They are masterminds of social capita. They value education by experience; a measurement of learning by opportunity, rather than the number of institutions or occupancies they are given access too.

Generation Z: Untapped Potential 

They learn beyond the job title, or lack thereof. And to name a few:

  1. The Friend Zone Zine – a community project created and funded by three girls: Amber, Laura and Roxy. The project was established in the wake of the pandemic to raises proceeds for The Trevor Project, a charity organization for suicide prevention measures in LGBTQIA+ spaces. The girls set out to learn marketing, business development, graphic design and other important sector specific practices that are relevant to entrepreneurism.  
  2. The Naked Student Podcast – An audio platform by Luke Wolstenhome, highlighting concerns, dilemmas and united experiences within the student, graduate community. The platform has since discussed the physical, economic and racial difficulties with the coronavirus pandemic.
  3. The Graduate Club – A social community space created by Katie May Huxtable, also during the pandemic, to showcase the amazing work and skills of 2020 graduates and school leavers in the marketing and communication sectors. A profile of visibility for underrepresented youth whose applications rarely meet the recruiter’s desk. 
  4. Class of 2020 - a free e-learning community platform connecting students, graduates and businesses through industry approved learning programs. A platform with learning materials that offer valuable insights into your career of choice – just as valuable as on-the-job training. 

These are just a few of many; activities and opportunities that place value in learning. Each of these Gen Z start-ups, or Covid projects, do not exist for economic gratuity. They represent continued learning that goes beyond the workplace environment.

Each of these teams are educators in their fields as they too educate themselves on skills in broadcasting, production, communications, marketing, UX design and so much more. Learning opportunities that solidify their practice beyond the remits of a conventional job. 

These projects, as with many others in the Gen Z market, were not pressured to stop because the statistics on student employment were so depressing. If anything, they were motivated because this is the time to re-imagine what you know and how you choose to apply your skills. 

These statistics inform us that we have to find alternative ways to learn because evidently the traditional route is blocked off. For example, Class of 2020 work to help young people re-imagine the learning opportunities available to them. With the support of many leading UK companies they provide learning that will give industry experience without the need to access or be an employee of that industry. 

A note to self...

There will be many more road bumps to come, many more redundancies to take place and many more unsuccessful job applications. But it is important to create your opportunities. Start small, every hobby is the development of a new skill. Who knows what this will lead too?

Do not define your skills by the quantity of jobs you carry. Equally, do not define your experience by the lack of jobs, internships or placements you fail to access. These are just words to paper. In this time of crisis, find new, unconventional and interesting ways to learn something. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Life exists beyond the ‘9-5’. The question is, what are you doing in those hours?

Osaro Ewansiha, Head Of Marketing, Classof2020

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