British shun careers abroad

November 29, 2002

Almost two-thirds of British students lack the essential skills and attitudes to compete for top graduate jobs across Europe, new research shows.

The European Student Survey 2002, which looked at more than 5,000 students aged 19 to 29 across 28 countries, found that 64 per cent of those studying in the UK did not believe they had what it took to compete in the European jobs market. This compared with 37 per cent of students in the rest of Europe. British students were also much less likely to speak another language than their European counterparts, felt far more British than European and were less likely to accept a job abroad.

"UK students do not view the European jobs market as a serious career option," said Chris Letcher, managing director of Hobsons, the recruitment specialist that commissioned the survey. "This is worrying in the light of the fact that, increasingly, companies and universities are looking to recruit students across borders in Europe. UK students stand to miss out on top jobs in Europe if they do not develop a European outlook and adapt their skills sets accordingly."

Only 12 per cent of UK students agreed that the best jobs were elsewhere in Europe, while 41 per cent of Italian students felt they would have better prospects abroad.

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