As the Covid-19 epidemic hit the economy hard, many students approaching the end of their studies are afraid that they will not find a job after their studies. To avoid this scenario, some young people say they are ready to make concessions, even considering a more uncertain status.
Among students, the fear of not finding a job has increased with the Covid-19 epidemic and the economic crisis that is on the way. Some are worried about their future and are planning strategies for avoiding unemployment (for those who have already worked and may require benefits) or non-employment after leaving school.
“I’m not sure I’m going into the world of work.” Within a few weeks, Agathe, a Master of Communication student at Sciences-Po Toulouse, will complete her six-month internship at a cosmetics company.
If she hoped to see her internship become a long contract, she is now less optimistic. “It was one of my options, but I realized it would not be possible. I was told that my company had frozen jobs during the crisis,” she laments.
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A scenario lived by Françoiségalement and studied for the past year in a private business school. Employed alternately in a large French bank, he had planned for this company which he worked for two years.
But the health crisis went there. “My management confirmed to me that they would not recruit me: I mourned my plans,” laments François, who also planned to go to Asia for a year at the end of his studies.
François and Agathe are not the only ones worried. One-third of final-year students and 40% of recent graduates say they are worried – or even very worried – about their professional future, according to a study published May 5 and conducted by Jobteaser, an orientation and recruitment platform. According to the same study, 70% of companies have completely or partially suspended their recruitment of young people.
Vulnerable young people in the labor market
In a report released on Wednesday, The International Labor Organization is worried about even more lasting consequences. “Knowing that the recession created by the Covid-19 crisis is far more serious than in previous cases, we must expect long-term wage losses for young people who are unlucky enough to leave school or university by the end of the 2019-2020 school year,” can be read in the document.
If these future candidates are among the most vulnerable to the economic crisis, not everyone should pay a high price. According to a new study from the Association for the Employment of Managers (Apec), the most at risk “young people from the 2019 and 2020 campaigns” are candidates in “less sought after disciplines”, because they “run the risk of facing a job market”. “employment” is “lost” by its elders in the previous campaign, who have not yet found employment “.
Asked by France 24, Vanessa Di Paola, an economist who specializes in the professional integration of young people, emphasizes, for her part, a “very high level of heterogeneity in situations”.
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If young graduates from certain sectors “strongly influenced by the crisis such as trade, catering and the cultural world” will probably be the least favored, according to the economist, also a professor at Aix-Marseille University, others could do well: “Students in health and education the social sector may not be particularly affected by the crisis, as demand has not diminished, “she projects.
Avoid a “sacrificial generation”
Prior to this anxiety-provoking context, voices are supported in support of these future academics, as are the members of the University Presidents Conference (CPU).
“It is extremely important that there are support measures for hiring young candidates who will enter the labor market at the beginning of the 2020 school year” so that this generation is not “sacrificed,” for example, CPU President Gilles Roussel said.
Vanessa Di Paola regrets that, at the end of her studies, these students do not benefit from “any economic entity” for their entry into working life. “Some students do not have jobs, have not had jobs and are therefore not entitled to unemployment. Since they are under 25, they are also not entitled to RSA,” she says. “We have to pay attention to this subject [des aides financières], because this crisis has a larger size than we have known. “
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In recent weeks, proposals have been made for these future academics. For example, the general delegate from La République en Marche, Stanislas Guérini, talked about creating an “employment bonus” for young people, while EELV member Yannick Jadot recommended creating 300,000 subsidized jobs this year.
The government is also working on measures to facilitate learning and employment. “We must do something for French youth” and especially to “support learning and I know that[la ministre du Travail]Muriel Pénicaud is working to prevent a generation from sacrificing, said Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the finance secretary on Tuesday. “We must facilitate the employment of young people, and therefore we must take strong action in this direction,” she added. Will companies therefore be able to benefit from exemptions from fees if they recruit young people? “We will see,” replied Agnès Pannier-Runacher.
According to the Minister of Labor, the future recovery plan, which was presented in the autumn, should also have “a competence component and a very important employment component, especially in relation to young people”.
Pending these measures, future candidates are looking for solutions that can be quickly integrated into the labor market. Despite an unfavorable climate, they do not intend to give up. For example, at the end of her internship, Agathe wants to actively seek work. “I’m coming back to my parents to find a job because I can’t keep my apartment without compensation. But I won’t be far from Paris, so I’ll be able to come back for interviews,” she said.
Others prefer to let the summer pass, such as Manon, who graduated in March from a business school and has been unemployed ever since. “I’m looking at offers on the Internet, but I know companies don’t have the priority to hire a junior at the moment. On the other hand, I think the competition in September will be even tougher,” she worries.
Vanessa Di Paola assures her: the professional integration of young candidates risks being postponed. “When they enter the workplace, they will not be prioritized. They will be placed in the queue that risks weighing on all the employees who have benefited from partial unemployment,” she feared.
An uncertainty already at work
In fear of this competitive pressure in the fall, some young people say they are ready to accept uncertain status. Before the arrest, François, the student at the business school, was thinking of leaving the school easily with a permanent contract in his pocket.
But today he no longer believes in it. “I’m ready to accept a fixed-term contract and a lower salary,” he admits. Agathe, for her part, is considering the possibility of “redoing practice”. “It will be complicated, because I would have to register again at the university,” she notes.
Strategies That Don’t Surprise Vanessa Di Paola. “Before the arrest, there was already an increase in insecure status and part-time contracts among young people,” says the professional integration specialist. “The crisis can then highlight this trend, which was the case during the recession in 2010 and 2011”.
Making concessions also means for these young people to accept a job as a standard or even change sectors. “I will throw a wide net to be able to find more chances to find a job,” says Agathe, who wants to become a press specialist specialized in fashion and luxury. “I am ready to accept a position that is not very rewarding in my field and is at the bottom of the ladder after completing five years of higher education,” she says.
Unemployment as a last resort
Another alternative: unemployment. François gives a maximum of six months without employment. The young man thus wants to “take the time to search”. “I’m afraid to do a job I don’t like or to accept a standard contract,” he admits.
But long-term unemployment can also have serious consequences. “We must avoid locking ourselves into unemployment and unemployment,” Vanessa Di Paola argues. “Anything that makes it impossible to stay in this waiting situation for too long is a solution. For some, it will be an additional internship or a less qualified job than planned or even a position in a business sector far from the original project, she explains.
Despite these unprecedented financial circumstances, some students remain hopeful, like Manon. “This waiting time gives us time to breathe, focus on ourselves and prepare for a project. And when companies get better, they will think of us,” she hopes. For these young people, candidates during the Covid-19 crisis, it will require patience and motivation to meet the labor market.