As part of National Student Employment week, the Find Your Feet graduate fair came to the University of Lincoln. This, alongside regular workshops and CV “drop-ins” at the Enterprise Building aim to promote graduate employability.

However, unemployment rates remain high, and the most recent figures for graduate employment show an increased number to be out of work. In 2009/10, unemployment figures stood at 9%, whilst in the period 2006/07, the number was 6% (Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency).

So how do prospective graduates feel about their chances in the world of work?

Tom Poole, a third year media production student said he was “excited to finish [university] and get a job”, but that he found the prospect “daunting as there’s not much about”.

The uncertainty of what the end of university would bring was echoed by Christopher Bell, a third year forensic science student. He said that the job market was “not good” and the possibility of unemployment was a “worrying” situation.

He added “I’ve applied for 15 graduate schemes” but he waiting to hear back from most of them. “It’s a waiting game”, he said.

Alongside third year students, there were also a notable number of first and second year students. Many of these students, aware of the competitiveness of the graduate job market, were at the graduate fair looking for work experience and placements.

Charlotte Brown, a second year management and HR student was at the Find Your Feet event looking for internships. She said that she found it “pretty competitive and it’s difficult to find a placement”.

A first year biomedical science student, Kyle Mullen, said that graduate prospects are“not looking good”, but he hoped there “could be opportunities” by the time he graduates in 2014. He also added that “things like this [graduate fair] are helpful”.

Some students, however, were more optimistic. Stephanie Bell, a third year accounting and finance student said she thought prospects are “good”, and as long as you are “working hard”, opportunities should arise. She said the Find Your Feet event was useful, as it “shows you what’s about”.

Although students gave a mixed response to their prospects upon graduation, it seems that students are aware of the challenge that finishing university will bring. Despite this, students seem to remain upbeat and ready to face this challenge.