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Graduates 'urged to dumb down CVs'
Graduates in Scotland were apparently advised to leave their qualifications off their CVs to secure 'survival jobs'
Jobcentre staff have told university graduates in Scotland that employers do not want cleaners with degrees and advised them to "dumb down" to find work, a survey has suggested.
Graduates were apparently told that their qualifications actually deterred employers and advised to leave them off their CVs altogether to secure "survival jobs".
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) said two-thirds of graduates found the Jobcentre unhelpful at finding any work whatsoever, while just 1% said they were helpful in finding graduate-level work.
The CAS report, Degrees Of Insecurity, surveyed 1,000 Scottish graduates to discover how they have coped in the recession. Three-fifths felt they were poorly advised about their career while still at school and around two-fifths (43%) said their university failed to prepare them for work.
Around a quarter (23%) were unemployed for up to a year after leaving university, while one in 10 could not find a job for at least 18 months.
One 25-year-old law graduate told CAS: "At the (Jobcentre) group meetings we were encouraged to leave any degree off the CV to help us find more plentiful unskilled work. Nobody would employ me as a cleaner if I had a degree. I was told to stop looking for graduate work and take a 'survival' job."
A 25-year-old art history graduate said: "The Jobcentre was not interested in my degree. Frequently they seemed to suggest that, if anything, my qualification and level of education were a deterrent to possible future employers."
A 22-year-old politics graduate said: "Having worked part-time in retail throughout university, they focused on finding me a job in retail which 'suited my experience'."
A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman insisted: "There's lots of help out there for jobseekers, including young people and graduates. Jobcentre Plus advisers can help with skills and training, work experience is available for those who need it and the New Enterprise Allowance helps claimants set up their own business."
The Department of Work and Pensions spokeswoman added: "It's simply not true that Jobcentre advisers would tell a candidate to lie about their qualifications. With any job application, our advisers will recommend that the candidate tailors the presentation of their skills and experience to the job they are applying for."
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