Average NI jobseeker rejected 13 times during pandemic, new resources available to help

  • BT has launched a new job skills initiative following damning survey results on job searching in Northern Ireland during the pandemic.

    With so many businesses closed during the pandemic, unemployment is rising and new roles in many fields are limited. Those looking for jobs now are dealing with much higher competition, and as a result are facing much higher numbers of rejections than expected.

    The UK government has been running a furlough scheme to allow businesses to retain staff on 80% of their wages at zero cost to the business, but this is voluntary for employers. Many business owners have refused to put staff on furlough and instead choosen to make them redundant, leading to a large number of people searching for new jobs during a pandemic.

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    A new survey from BT has investigated the impact of restrictions and lockdowns on jobseekers in Northern Ireland, with some damning results. The average NI jobseeker has been rejected from 13 different roles since the pandemic began, and 84% of those surveyed attributed a downturn in their mental wellbeing to their job search.

    The impact on mental health included decreased motivation, lowered self-esteem and morale, and a significant number saw reduced self-confidence as a result of rejections. This has led 42% of those surveyed to keep their job applications secret from friends and family in case they are rejected.

    The research was conducted as part of a case analysis for the launch of BT's new Stand Out Skills programme. It highlighted that only 23% of NI jobseekers are confident that their CV and cover letter will stand out, and 51% of those surveyed said they had difficulty finding resources on topics such as improving their CVs or job interview technique.

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    The Stand Out Skills platform can be accessed for free at https://www.bt.com/standoutskills and offers tools and resources to help people build confidence for an interview and improve their CVs in order to stand out during a job search. The initiative was created as part of BT Skills for Tomorrow, which aims to "help 10 million people in the UK make the most of life in the digital world."

    Hannah Cornick, Head of Digital Impact and Sustainability at BT, commented: "BT remains more committed than ever to its Skills for Tomorrow programme, and to ensuring that people have the skills they need to flourish in an increasingly digital world. This is why we have launched Stand Out Skills, to help those looking for work build their confidence by providing them with the necessary tools and resources they need to get ahead of the competition and stand out in their job search."

    Source: Written based on press release

    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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