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Students have swapped drinking for working

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Published on 21 November 2017

University students are far more likely to spend their evenings working rather than drinking, according to a top recruiter.

The increase in working hours is a result of the introduction then increase of tuition fees that is lumbering graduates with huge debts.

Mark Reynolds, manager of Berry Recruitment’s branch in Birmingham where there are three universities, said the trend is dramatic.

Previous generations of students who received grants or loans would be far less likely to take on term-time jobs, or work as many hours.

But now, students can’t wait to sign on with recruitment firms so they can work evenings and at weekends in order to earn more and live as cheaply as possible.

A survey by Endsleigh in 2015 showed that eight out of ten students (77 per cent) are now taking on some form of job to help ease the financial pressures.

It found that 57 per cent of university students said they were working to help pay for their accommodation, food and household bills, while 56 per cent were looking to earn extra cash for socialising.

Mark, who has been a recruiter for 17 years, said since then the number of students applying for work – and the number of hours they are doing – has grown further.

He said: “The change in attitude of students to temporary work has definitely shifted. 

“At the start of this term we spent a day at Aston University and signed up nearly 200 students. And it’s the same everywhere.

“We recruit a great deal in the catering sector so there are plenty of opportunities for part time, evening and weekend work.

“Students are able to work around their studies and even through their holidays if they remain in the city.

“We have three universities in Birmingham and with tuition fees now so high the students are keener than ever to add as little to their debt as possible.

“They are the perfect candidates for this work because although it is sometimes minimum wage roles, university students are bright and personable, which clients appreciate.

“There is also plenty of work available so they are finding it easy to work as long as they can.

“Decades ago students had grants or loans but now times are much tougher we believe our service can be seen as more valuable.

“We offer friendly and professional support to all and would be delighted to hear from those seeking work.”

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