After last week's posts, I'd like to weigh in on the benefits system.
Specifically, I feel that the "default" benefit - Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) completely fails graduates.
Like Emily, after graduating I spent six month unemployed and drawing benefits and so have some first hand experience of the system.
I think they key issue is that JSA is not designed with graduates in mind. It should be clear that anyone with a degree is highly skilled, and they are not workshy - even "easy" degrees require hard work and dedication to get honours in.
But the majority of jobs aimed at those on JSA are inappropriate. I was memory told by one potential employer that I had an excellent skillset, but he didn't want someone with a degree. He wanted someone who would be happy to be a receptionist for ten or more years and was absolutely - but frustratingly - right to turn me down.
I won't go on about it, because Emily did that so well last week, but graduates clearly need a different type of support compared to other people.
For a start, our qualifications tend to be less vocational. Those without a University degree on JSA tend to have qualifications or experience as, say, bricklayers or secretaries or musicians [sorry - in joke there] whereas graduates skills are less focussed.
It is very easy with people who JSA is aimed for to say "we've got these roles that match your skillset." I found advisers had trouble spotting anything that matches the skills for someone with a physics degree as most vacancies advertised required specific skills.
What graduates need, I think, is far better CV support, jobs targeted for those with broad skillsets and good opportunities for progression and more help and advice searching out graduate posts.
I think if the government were to invest in something like this I think it would, in the long run, pay dividends as more graduates get employed faster (making degrees more valuable) and start contributing to the economy.