Justine Tanomjit, a commercial law student at Aberystwyth University, was headhunted for a job as an insurance broker that would have begun in June. Two weeks ago she got a call saying the interview was cancelled. “I feel so sad and frustrated. I’d been nervous about leaving uni and getting an interview was really exciting,” she says.

Many are in similar positions. Alice Cole (not her real name) is in her final year at the University of Brighton and wanted to go into the NGO sector as a researcher. She was feeling confident about her prospects after graduation and there were jobs available, but the outlook has changed rapidly. “Because of coronavirus, funding for NGOs is getting smaller and there are fewer jobs at entry-level positions,” she says. “It won’t be possible anymore.” ‘A weird time’: students tell of a future snatched away

Read more Students are starting to realise they will be graduating into a global recession . According to the Institute of Student Employers (ISE), many firms have scaled down their recruitment of entry-level staff and more than a quarter of businesses are reducing the number of graduates they hire this year.

While some firms are moving assessments and interviews online, the majority have cancelled them. “Thousands of young people are supposed to be entering the labour market from July and they could be left without work and nothing to do while coronavirus is sorted out,” says Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the ISE. “We need to make sure that a whole generation isn’t lost.”

One graduate recruiter says they have already retracted offers. “Firms are being realistic and most are putting recruitment on hold. No one wants to offer an opportunity which might not be there in three months’ time.”

Routes into graduate jobs have also been affected. Short-term work such as internships and placements will be reduced by almost a third, say the ISE, and 68% of firms have cancelled work experience and taster opportunities. As a result, almost 40% of students are now worried they won’t be able to get a job at all.

James Turner, CEO of the […]

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