Missing out

A lot of students at university take on any job during the summer holidays just to earn some money, according to a new study.

Two out of five take jobs in telesales, factories, fast food outlets and bars, the survey of 1,000 graduates by energy company Centrica found.

But by doing this they're missing out on the opportunity of gaining valuable work experience in something that would eventually enhance their career prospects. Almost two-thirds said they wished they had chosen differently and gained relevant work experience while at university.

In another study, three out of four graduates claimed that a summer placement was the key factor in securing a job after their studies had finished.

James Fothergill, the CBI's head of education and skills policy, said: "Summer placements or internships provide invaluable experience in the workplace that employers look for when recruiting graduates, in addition to formal qualifications.

'In these financially-challenging times, earning a wage while gaining important work experience is a plus, and by putting in some extra research, young people will find there are companies that offer paid placements.'

Centrica said that on its summer placement schemes it had taken on more than 70 undergraduates this year. Leading by example you could say.

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