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Jobs: 221. Applicants: 24,000.

Jobs: 221. Applicants: 24,000.

If you thought the job market was tough here, you should try your luck in the UK, where young people in particular are struggling to find work.

August 16, 2010 4:28 by

As Kipp reported last week, the jobs market in the region is showing promise, with some 54 percent of companies planning to hire in the next quarter. But of course, planning to hire is not the same as hiring, so it remains to be seen whether there will be a significant upswing in the jobs market.

And even if there is, it has to be said that given the current dire state of recruitment in the UAE, a significant upswing may not mean much to all those out there desperately searching for work. But for those who are on the jobs market here in the Gulf, perhaps it could be worse. Media in the UK is reporting that one British company has received almost 24,000 applicants for just 221 apprenticeships.

British Telecom says it now hopes to increase the number of apprenticeships it offers, though clearly tens of thousands are set to lose out. It is part of a trend in the UK: the country’s National Apprenticeship Service says between April and July its applicants almost doubled, from 22,550 to 41,940.

And no wonder, among 18 to 24 year olds unemployment in the country is 17.5 percent and growing. The situation is also generating a high number of applications for university, with an 11.7 percent increase in applications this year over last, as young people try to delay entering a nasty jobs market.

For British Telecom, it’s good news – the company looks popular and gets its pick of promising applicants. But for everyone else in the country it’s a disaster, as thousands of young people face an increasingly bleak and desperate situation. What happens to those young people without jobs, or when they make a terrible start to their careers?

With a young population, the Middle East will need to keep its economic expansion up if it’s to avoid similar problems in the future.

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