What's keeping graduates from the work place?
Youth unemployment is no longer just about lack of education, it would seem as graduates are also struggling to find work in Luxembourg, it emerged at a graduate fair.
Thursday's professional speed-dating event organised by Individuum and hosted at the Impactory, attracted graduates who have so far not been able to land their first job.
One of the reasons is that few companies are willing to take a risk by hiring graduates as opposed to experienced staff.
“I think it's very unfair on young people these days. You open the job adverts on Monster and you need at least two years' experience. But, no-one is giving an opportunity to graduates,” Lara Alves of Euro DNS told wort.lu/en.
Ms Alves explained that Euro DNS was more open in its recruitment process and recruits graduates in certain roles provided they are “interested and have the right profile”. And they're not alone. Luxembourg's national bank the Spuerkeess recruits up to 60 graduates per year from finance and economics backgrounds who have completed relevant internships.
Another factor keeping some qualified graduates out of the workplace is the high level of competition from foreign candidates. Of those attending the recruitment fair, around 40 percent were of non-Luxembourg nationality, proving that Luxembourg remains attractive to expatriates.
Diana Petrocenko was among the foreign influx attracted to the Grand Duchy. She studied an MBA in Italy and moved to Luxembourg a month ago to find work. “Luxembourg is one of the best places to work. Since the crisis it has been hard to find a job in Italy, even if you speak Italian. Here there are more opportunities to start a career,” she said hopefully.
Rather than viewing competition as a problem, however, recent graduate Sandrine Lagarde suggests it is an asset since companies have a larger and more diverse pool of recruits to choose from.
What's more, she suggested, graduates should focus less on complaining and more on having the right attitude. “I've heard stories about people working in shops when they have a bachelors or masters degree. I think that you have to be very determined and I'm also very optimistic,” she said.
Anything but banking
Finally, a barrier to recruitment which is quite specific to Luxembourg is that not all graduates want to work in banking and finance.
Several students at the recruitment fair described their studies in literature or psychology, fields which they recognised were limited in Luxembourg.
A Luxembourg national Liz recently completed a masters in management in Belgium. “In my experience I think it's quite difficult to find a job. I've already applied for some. Often you don't even get an answer,” she said, adding: “I'm looking for management or marketing roles. I know that I don't want to work in a bank. Maybe that's an obstacle."