By Claire West
Angry students clashed with police in protest against the rising tuition fees. Graduates can expect to pay tuition fees reaching £9,000 per year starting 2012. With the exceedingly high fees, fears of negated social mobility and discrimination are becoming apparent, as demonstrated in today’s protest. Fires, broken glass and clashes with the police exemplify the high amount of unrest in the student community. A recent study highlighted that the graduate class of 2009 found that 8.9 percent were out of work in January 2010. This statistic adds to the trepidation students already feel towards investing in university at such a high cost.
According to the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) survey, the graduate unemployment rate has risen with just over 21,000 students known to have been out of work in January. Graduates are entering into a bleak employment market, an unattractive prospect for A level students.
As a result of the low employment levels and increased debt graduates find themselves in, one-in-ten graduates are planning to start their own business straight after graduation, according to a recent study conducted by mobile-giants Orange.
Entrepreneurship is just one way in which graduates are overcoming their financial burdens. Trends have shown that remote working is now highly regarded amongst graduates, and is something that could provide a solution to the racked up fees. With more students opting to live at home to save money on maintenance, remote working - once viewed as a privilege, is becoming a must. 2010 has seen a surge in the acceptance of Cloud computing technology and devices such as smartphone’s and tablet PC’s that have made remote working even easier. Furthermore Cloud technology has enabled employees to access work files and emails whether they are at a remote location or on the move.
A study conducted by Orange found 69 percent of graduates stressed the importance of flexible working when looking for jobs. The study also found that graduates have specific expectations of their future employers, with nearly half of the students expecting to be able to access work files and email remotely.
Students were not the only people expressing the need for remote working. A survey conducted by authentication outfit GrIDsure demonstrates that workforces are undergoing rapid changes in work behaviour, making the traditional nine-to-five office hours a thing of the past.
The study found that 68 percent described home working as an important part of overall job satisfaction; however 15 percent with suitable jobs said they could work remotely, but were prevented from doing so by their employer. For those employers looking to employ the best staff they need to accommodate remote working as the trend will only gain momentum with new job seekers (so called Generation Y) expecting this option when applying for jobs.
Chris Papa, Managing Director for communications specialist company Qubic, said, “This generation is far more tech savvy than their predecessors. Generation Y expects to work on the move and want access to work files and emails when they’re not in the office. This is a generation that has been using mobile phones and the internet most of their adult life. They write blogs, listen to iPods, use the latest smartphones and social networking is the norm.
Enabling this type of working technology for the new generation of employees is now a vital asset to businesses who are looking to engage with future talent.”
Papa added “This surge in remote working is an area that will only continue to increase in popularity, who knows what it may hold for the future. What is clear is that the way we work is being driven into a new era as technology continues to evolve.”