UK students shy away from European job market

Nearly
two-thirds of UK university students lack essential skills and a ‘European’
attitude to work cross border and win top jobs in Europe, according to a
report.

The
study by global education and recruitment specialist, Hobsons also finds more
than a quarter of UK students would miss their friends too much to accept a
career job overseas and only one in four UK students can speak a second
language.

The
European Student Survey 2002 is the largest and most in-depth research project
of its kind and surveyed the careers and lifestyle choices of more than 5,000
19-29 year old students across 28 countries in Europe.

When
asked if they feel prepared to tackle the European job market on graduation,
only 36 per cent of UK students agreed they have what it takes.

This
is in stark contrast to students in the rest of Europe where on average, almost
two-thirds (63 per cent) feel they have all the necessary qualifications and
attributes to work abroad in their first career job.

Almost
half of all UK students speak no second language at all with only 14 per cent
speaking French and 7 per cent speaking German and Spanish. 

However,
by contrast, a massive 90 per cent of German students speak two or more
languages, the most popular being English (84 per cent) followed by French (16
per cent). In addition, the majority of Italian and Spanish students speak
fluent English (92 per cent/90 per cent) as a second language. Only Ireland
fared worse then the UK, with well over half (59 per cent) of students citing
no second language.

Chris
Letcher, managing director of Hobsons, said: "Our research shows that UK
students do not view the European job market as a serious career option.  This is worrying in the light of the fact
that increasingly companies and universities are looking to recruit students
across borders in Europe."

He
added: "UK students stand to miss out on tops jobs in Europe if they do
not develop a European outlook and adapt their skill sets accordingly."

By Ben Willmott

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