For students who graduated earlier this year and those still studying, the employment prospects remain bleak. Just-in-time recruitment, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, digitisation and artificial intelligence are all compounding against the context of a global pandemic and economic downturn.

As we stand out from COVID-19, there has been new career information counselling suited to the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous or ‘VUCA’ world in the situation we are in right now.

Not long ago, thousands of students participated in a job fair that met face-to-face with many employers trying to find the job of their dreams. This scenario is reminiscent of the phrase “shooting fish in a bucket” in the early 20th century because no one can go wrong: employers know where students will be, and students know where to find work.

This is similar to the card game ‘Go Fish’ as nobody can travel and there are fewer jobs, the game changes and is more like guessing, bluffing and occasional skill.

In the UK in 2020, after the largest monthly increase in the unemployment rate, at least 30% of college students lost their jobs between March and April. At the same time, the competition for employment is unprecedentedly high since the beginning of the year, vacancies have fallen by 77%, with an average of 100 graduates competing for each position.

At least 20% of top UK employers have suspended their graduate recruitment selection process and stopped providing job opportunities for college pass outs. Experts say that the real damage to new aspirants will not be fully understood until next year.

The Certified Personal Education Association warns that highly skilled graduates are reaching a “saturation point,” leaving unskilled workers out of work. it condemned his rigorous approach to countering weak productivity growth in the UK with a “conveyor belt of graduates.”

There are fears that the situation will not be sustainable, as the government estimates that 45% of students do not have enough income to pay off student loans.

The scenario is no better elsewhere in the world. According to the Institute of Student Employers’ summer 2020 report, COVID-19: Global impacts on graduate recruitment, the pandemic has a deep and detrimental impact on the global economy. Many nations are reporting dramatic rises in levels of joblessness, and there is growing evidence that these changes are having an inconsistent impact on young people.

The report reconnoitres how these economic changes affect graduate recruitment in 21 countries, and the results broadly reflect the problems of the UK graduate employment market.

The solutions are challenging but were foreshadowed in 2013 by Andy Chan, vice president for innovation and career development at Wake Forest University. He gave a TEDx talk, “Career Services Must Die”, where he challenged colleges and universities to rethink the traditional delivery of career services completely. Seven years later, he did an update.

Sadly, not much has changed at the majority of college campuses; career services continue on pretty much as before – with dissatisfied students, alumni and employers having to struggle on their own. True breakthroughs in career services will come when higher education embraces career as part of its academic core instead of a fringe student affair offering.” He added.

Source: University World News