Preparing for your future

Brexit and your graduate job prospects

Emily from the Work Experience team discusses Brexit, the possible effect on the graduate job market and how you can negate it effectively.

On 23 June 2016, the UK held a referendum on whether Britain should withdraw from the European Union. With a 52% vote in favour of leave, the UK Government triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Fast forward to 2018, and now is the time to consider how Brexit could affect your graduate prospects.

What does Brexit mean for the graduate job market?

In December 2017, KPMG conducted a survey of 648 graduates to find out their feelings towards Brexit and their career prospects, with 62% saying they felt less confident of their career prospects. It’s clear to see that there is an uneasy feeling amongst graduates, but why is this the case?

It is still too early to see what economic impact Brexit will have on the long-term future of the UK. However, one reason for this feeling of unease is that it has been warned that Brexit could trigger a recession. According to research last year by the Centre for European Reform, those under 30 years old would be most vulnerable to a rise in unemployment. A survey by PathMotion of HR managers and senior executives of 75 top UK graduate employers released has also shown that 49% of employers said they were likely to lower their intake of graduates if Britain left the EU.

Mike Hill, CEO of graduate website Prospects, has also warned that competition for jobs could even get worse if the economy tips back into recession or employers become nervous about the commitment and cost of hiring new staff, including graduates.

We could see the ripple effect of Brexit on the graduate marketplace for years to come, but it is important to reflect on the positives of your current position as a Cardiff University student. There are plenty of things that as a current or recent graduate you can do to increase your career prospects.


What you can do to strengthen your graduate prospects

Work Experience

40% of graduates are still hunting for jobs six months after leaving university.

Don’t be part of this statistic. Get as much work experience whilst at university as possible, in order to make your graduate application as attractive as possible.

Work Experience will also help you gain a number of transferable employability skills, network with industry experts and potentially gain references or in some cases a foot in the door. Cardiff University has its own central dedicated Work Experience team who offer a wide range of opportunities in different areas and industries throughout the year that are flexible to your timetable. You really have nothing to lose and potentially a whole lot to gain.

See current Work Experience opportunities.

The application process

You usually have to apply with CV and Cover Letter so make sure you allow plenty of time before the deadline to get this together.

We can receive a lot of applicants for our different opportunities, so it’s important you tailor your CV and Cover Letter and really show-case your skills to the best of your ability! Treat this application process as you would if you were applying for a job. Even the act of applying for our placements is a great experience and better prepares you for graduate jobs once you finish your degree.

Don’t forget to regularly update your CV and triple check it for any spelling/grammar mistakes.

You can book an appointment with your Careers advisor for CV advice and support or book on to a CV masterclass workshop on the student Intranet. Our Employability Advisors also offer CV drop-in clinics most Wednesday afternoons from 13:00-16:00 at 51a Park Place.

Careers & Employability

Make sure to get the most out of University as possible. Look outside of just your academic area of study. Consider yourself as a product, do you know the best ways to market yourself?

As a current student you have access to Careers advisors, the Work Experience team, the Enterprise & Start up Team, Global Opportunities, Go Wales and access to Career fairs throughout the academic year. Utilise these fantastic services whilst you can!

The aim of this blog post isn’t to fill you with fear or worry about your future prospects but in fact the opposite. I want you to take action on your future now. After all, what have you got to lose? I will leave you with the following quote to consider:

“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” – Walter Anderson


Were you aware that Cardiff University has their very own Work Experience Team within Careers and Employability?

The team has contacts with a variety of local employers who target Cardiff University students and graduates specifically, so you are in a great position to get some invaluable work experience for your future careers.

Why not register to our fortnightly Newsletter to have the latest opportunities delivered right to your inbox?

Sign up here

We have drop-in sessions every Wednesday afternoon 13:00-16:00. Book in person on the day from 12:00 at the Careers & Employability front reception desk, 51A Park Place. We also have a dedicated space on the online Jobs Board, look for the Work Experience tab where we advertise our full range of opportunities.

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Your feedback and help please

Have you found this blog post useful?  Please help us by commenting in the comments bar below, and if there is anything further you’d like to know ask your questions there too.

We’d also be grateful if you can share this information by re-tweeting or sharing with your fellow students who may find this useful – you can do this by using the share buttons or via twitter and facebook.


Best Wishes,

Emily McCarthy, Work Experience Team.

Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus. For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


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