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Europe´s young jobless

How many CV´s must be sent to find work?


As part of our series on Europe´s youth unemployment crisis, The Guardian has asked some students about how they see their futures, their fears and to tell their stories of frustration and indignation. These are some of their responses:

Rachel Grey, 23, Middlesbrough, UK

I´ve been unemployed since finishing university in July 2011. My hopes after graduating [with a 2:1 in sociology from a Russell Group university] weren´t unrealistic. I was prepared to take any job to build up enough experience to find a job in London. Instead, I´ve ended up living at home with my parents. I´ve sent well over 400 applications and I´ve had only a few job interviews, as well as a handful for work experience and internship placements.

´m worried about the strain my unemployment is putting on my family. The cost of having both children living at home – my sibling is due to graduate in July – even paying full rent, with one parent employed and one on a pension, is going to be difficult.

Salva Camarasa, 30, Barcelona, Spain

I´ve got a degree in media and communications as well as training in digital graphic design. My hopes were focused on working in something I could deliver all my motivation, skills and knowledge, more than just having an economical motivation: I felt I was wasting my time and others´ working in an office or in retail.

There´s almost no job advice here and the Spanish government has brutally trimmed courses for the unemployed, as well as student grants and education in general. When my last job ended in November 2012, I received €380 (£325) a month for six months from the state. But now that´s ended I have no idea what to do. I´ve had to ask my parents for help and I can´t describe how horrible it makes me feel because at my age, it shreds my status of being an independent individual.

What worries me is that I´m stuck in this vicious circle. You have no money to study something else, the time you´re unemployed increases therefore you become less employable, and you keep moving in a wheel like a hamster with no chance of getting out.

Panayiotis Christodoulou, 26, Nicosia, Cyprus

I´m worried that my degree will soon have no value. When the economy recovers I´ll be 35 years old and unable to find work as a junior and without the experience for a more senior position. Since graduating I´ve sent on average about 25-30 applications a month, and I´d welcome any position related to my degree, such as a journalist, presenter, writer or PR adviser. During the past two to three years a lot of media organisations have been shrinking with news websites finding it difficult to attract adverts to survive.

Coline Willinger, 25, Montpellier, France

I went to university for six years and graduated with a master´s degree in political science. I was hoping I´d find employment more quickly than I have. After volunteering at a website I found a job at a radio station that paid €560 a month; €460 by the state and the rest by the station. Although it gave me independence it wasn´t enough to live on comfortably and at the end of the contract I moved back to my mother´s home. Since then I´ve sent over 100 applications. I´ve had four interviews: three in Montpellier and one in Marseille.

I´m a bit desperate because employers require a lot of skills: speaking many languages, having many years of experience, specific diplomas. I do not really come across any openings for beginners. I´m also a bit disappointed because I expected after those long years of studies that my search would be a lot easier. I´m worried because I´m starting to believe that I´m not going to find my "dream job", the one I´ve been studying this long for.

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