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February 27, 2014
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Tough times for college grads
Bjorn Burke, Staff Reporter

Tough economic times are even tougher on bright-eyed college graduates who are optimistic about finding a job.

The plight of the unemployed college graduate is noted as our universities produce several worthy candidates on the figurative education assembly line, resulting in the backup of a tall order of degree holders at the graduate hub, shipped out to a sputtering economy.

One university graduate, who has been forced to go nine months without employment after graduation, says she knows this all too well. She further told THE STAR that she has sent out numerous job applications to several entities without success.

Figures from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica show that some 57,600 persons aged 20-24 were unemployed up to October of last year. It goes without saying that a sizeable portion of these individuals are college alumni.

Tanya Francis-Thomas, senior administrative assistant at the Office of Placement and Career Services at the University of the West Indies, Mona, told THE STAR that they do all they can to ensure that their students and alumni are put in good stead to go forth into the world of work.

"We have a lot of programmes in place to groom our students, and to bridge the gap between student and employer," she said.

She further explained that their services far exceed just finding jobs for students and alumni, but rather preparing them holistically with job seeking skills from the day of matriculation to successfully landing the job.

The National Youth Service (NYS) recently launched their Graduate Work Experience Programme (GWEP), poised to provide a solution to the high unemployment rate among college alumni.

Attempts made to reach NYS Marketing Manager, Coreine Rainford, for comment on the programme's progress were unsuccessful.

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