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University Graduate Unemployment Europe UK

A ‘lost generation’ from recession-hit Europe flocks to Britain to seek work – and finds it’s not always what they hoped it would be.

Nothing tastes quite as good as a coffee brewed by an expert barista. However, increasingly the chances are that the person serving you will have a high level of expertise in something a bit more substantial than coffee. With students and graduates from recession-hit Europe moving to the UK in their droves in the hope of finding work, the person serving you that cappuccino could well have a PhD.

Dubbed the “lost generation”, it is not hard to come by the stories of the qualified and aspirational young people from countries such as Spain, Portugal and Greece who are struggling to find employment in the UK….

…After moving to London, Dimitropoulou eventually found work doing web development, and she considers herself fortunate despite it feeling as if her studies and experience back home were “meaningless”.

“There is no more the concept of choice,” she says. “When you find a position, you tend to stay there and be thankful that you found one. And that just isn’t right.”


Interesting to note the course types studied e.g. journalism, drama and art etc. which are difficult fields to find employment in after graduation, at the best of times.

Question is then, why are governments in UK and Australia encouraging more students to enter fee paying higher education, without guidance on occupational demand, with high potential for unemployment and related issues after graduation?

While some students, their families and friends may demand perceived higher social status through studying dead end university courses (for fees in many cases), governments may not be helping….

This day and age, like many German secondary school graduates eligible for university are doing, vocational and technical training makes more sense in the short medium term due to employment outcomes, and potential for later articulation through to higher education.


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