Increasingly more university graduates becoming unemployed

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In 2009, there were 92,000 public university graduates, 9,000 of whom filed for RON-300-a-month unemployment benefits with the National Employment Agency (ANOFM), according to data with ANOFM.

University graduates are said to be hard pressed finding a job because of the ongoing economic crisis, but also because the market continues to be saturated with the demands of fresh graduates, as in 2008 there were two university graduations.

The year 2008 marked the first graduation of three-year university graduates, under the Bologna European Convention, to which Romania has adhered.

The main reason behind the increase in the number of unemployed university graduates is a small number of available jobs, having resulted from the decision of most of the companies to freeze recruiting or cut staff.

‘There are simply no jobs available. I do not believe this has anything to do with the quality of graduates.

The graduates should find jobs as they would one year ago,’ says Florin Ochiana, HR Operations Manager with Lugera&Makler recruiting company, which reported a 2008 business turnover of 18.3 million euros.

Besides the shortage of jobs, another reason could be that there are some fields that are not in as much demand as in the previous years.

‘There is no solid career orientation in schools. Investment should be conducted in practical actions and students should be recommended some professions,’ says state secretary with the Labour Ministry Mariana Nedelcu.

In the 2008-209 academic year, there were 94.105 senior students with the public universities and 29,480 with private universities, according to data with the Education Ministry.

In 2008, more than 194,000 students from public universities graduated, which means two graduations, as a result of the coming into force of the provisions of the Bologna Convention.

Romania is ranked among the countries with the highest unemployment rates among young people, being 13th in these terms in the European Union.

In the first quarter of 2009, the rate was 19.6 percent, above the European average of 18.3 percent, according to data with Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union.

The number of the unemployed among young people aged between 15 and 24 was 194,000 as of end-March.

The starting pay for a university graduate ranges between RON 1,000 and 1,200 (236-283 euros), but it may reach RON 1,400 (330 euros) in retail trade, for instance.

The IT is a more privileged field, where there is still need for specialist staff. The starting pay for graduates is usually RON 1,400 (330 euros) and it may reach RON 1,600 (377 euros).

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