Episodes

EpisodeFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01

0120101011

Jonathan, Mohsin, Caroline, and Fiona are four graduates from Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University who completed their degrees in June last year. They had studied hard and paid there fees, and were ready to begin the search for that elusive first job. But, along with over 300,000 other graduate hopefuls, they were joining the job market in the midst of a recession and when the number of students going to university was at the highest it had ever been.

From handing out CVs, applying for work experience and signing on, to returning home, dealing with rejection and, in some cases, finding work, Sarfraz Manzoor pieces their year together.

This programme follows the group in their first six months as graduates. Like their peers, our graduates believed that a degree would be an investment for their futures, with higher salaries and rapid career progression being the expected returns. But will their much coveted degree certificate be a stepping stone to a job, or is it time for them to revaluate this traditional narrative, and reconsider why they went to university in the first place?

In addition to their encounters and thoughts, Sarfraz Manzoor offers insights into the graduate labour market. For example, he hears how important graduates are for the growth of specialist markets in the UK, yet questions whether they are, in fact, up to the task: one company reveals that out of 2000 applications, they were unable to find 20 suitable candidates.

Combining first-hand testimony with wider analysis, Sarfraz Manzoor explores the genuine experience of today's graduate, the impact they have on the economy and society, and what their futures may hold.

Produced by Katie Burningham

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

Sarfraz Manzoor charts the experiences of graduates looking for work.

0120100726

Lauren, Jonathan, Mohsin, Caroline, Fiona and Samantha are six graduates from Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University who completed their degrees in June last year. They had studied hard and paid their fees, and were ready to begin the search for that elusive first job. But, along with over 300,000 other graduate hopefuls, they were joining the job market in the midst of a recession and when the number of students going to university was at the highest it had ever been.

So, to see just how hard the year ahead would be, the graduates agreed to be followed.

From handing out CVs, applying for work experience and signing on, to returning home, dealing with rejection and, in some cases, finding work, Sarfraz Manzoor pieces their year together.

The first programme follows the group in their first six months as graduates.

Like their peers, our graduates believed that a degree would be an investment for their futures, with higher salaries and rapid career progression being the expected returns. But will their much-coveted degree certificate be a stepping stone to a job, or is it time for them to revaluate this traditional narrative, and reconsider why they went to university in the first place?

Sarfraz Manzoor offers insights into the graduate labour market. He hears how important graduates are for the growth of specialist markets in the UK - but are they up to the task? One company reveals that out of 2000 applications, they were unable to find 20 suitable candidates.

Combining first-hand testimony with wider analysis, Sarfraz explores the genuine experience of today's graduate, the impact they have on the economy and society, and what their futures may hold.

Producer: Katie Burningham

A Falling Tree production.

Sarfraz Manzoor charts the experiences of graduates looking for work.

02

02 LAST20100802

John, Mohsin, Caroline and Fiona are four graduates from Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University who completed their degrees in June last year, joining the job market in the midst of a recession. To see just how hard the year ahead would be, the graduates agreed to be followed.

Six months in, we catch up with the group to see whether or not they have been able to find work, and meet two new graduates, Samantha Del Core and Lauren Hughes.

Samantha graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a degree in Interior Architecture and had planned to set up her own business. But as Sam faces competition on the horizon from 2010's cohort of eager young graduates, will her entrepreneurial spirit carry her through?

And Lauren, an aspiring journalist, questions whether the seemingly endless round of work experience placements she has been doing will get her anywhere.

2010 was the previous Government's benchmark for getting 50% of all school leavers into Higher Education. By widening participation and increasing access to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, universities were seen as way of increasing social mobility. But as entry to the top professions - such as law and medicine - continues to be dominated by those from the most affluent families, Sarfraz Manzoor asks whether a degree alone can enable someone to realize their aspirations.

Producer: Katie Burningham

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

Six months on, Sarfraz Manzoor catches up with the group to see if they have found work.

02 LAST20101018

John, Mohsin, Caroline and Fiona are four graduates from Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University who completed their degrees in June last year.

Six months in, programme two catches up with the group to see whether or not they have been able to find work, and introduces us to two new graduates, Samantha Del Core and Lauren Hughes.

Samantha graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a degree in Interior Architecture and had planned to set up her own business. But as Sam faces competition on the horizon from 2010's cohort of eager young graduates, will her entrepreneurial spirit carry her through?

And Lauren, an aspiring journalist, questions whether the seemingly endless round of work experience placements she has been doing will get her any where.

2010 was the previous Government's benchmark for getting 50% of all school leavers into Higher Education. By widening participation and increasing access to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, universities were seen as way of increasing social mobility.

But as entry to the top professions, such as law and medicine, continues to be dominated by those from the most affluent families, Sarfraz Manzoor asks whether a degree alone can enable someone to realize their aspirations.

Combining first-hand testimony with wider analysis, Sarfraz Manzoor explores the genuine experience of today's graduate, the impact they have on the economy and society, and what their futures may hold.

Producer: Katie Burningham

A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

Six months on, Sarfraz Manzoor catches up with the group to see if they have found work.

1

2 LAST

2 LAST20101018

012012071520120721

It's summer in the Californian suburbs and Benjamin Braddock is worried about his future.

It's the summer of 1963 in suburban California and Benjamin Braddock has the world at his feet. He's just graduated from university with a teaching scholarship, his dad has bought him a fancy new Italian sports car, and all the Braddocks' friends and neighbours have been invited to a house party to celebrate. There's just one problem. Benjamin refuses to leave his room. He's worried about his future. His parents are perplexed. The stalemate is broken when Ben agrees to give the wife of his father's business partner, Mrs Robinson, a lift home. She's the same age as his mother, fabulously sexy, and bent on seduction.

CAST: Benjamin Braddock - Danny Mahoney, Mr Braddock - William Hope, Mrs Braddock - Laura Brook, Elaine - Samantha Dakin, Mrs Robinson - Sian Thomas, Mr Robinson - Michael Crossman, Wendy - Julia Coulter, Carl - David Blackwell, Student - Stella Martin.

The Graduate has been adapted from Charles Webb's novel by Polly Thomas. Polly is a Sony award-winning director and producer of radio drama. Her theatre work includes directing for the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester; and the Manchester Literature Festival launch of Margaret Atwood's new book, The Year of the Flood.

A BBC Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

012012071520120721

It's summer in the Californian suburbs and Benjamin Braddock is worried about his future.

It's the summer of 1963 in suburban California and Benjamin Braddock has the world at his feet. He's just graduated from university with a teaching scholarship, his dad has bought him a fancy new Italian sports car, and all the Braddocks' friends and neighbours have been invited to a house party to celebrate. There's just one problem. Benjamin refuses to leave his room. He's worried about his future. His parents are perplexed. The stalemate is broken when Ben agrees to give the wife of his father's business partner, Mrs Robinson, a lift home. She's the same age as his mother, fabulously sexy, and bent on seduction.

CAST: Benjamin Braddock - Danny Mahoney, Mr Braddock - William Hope, Mrs Braddock - Laura Brook, Elaine - Samantha Dakin, Mrs Robinson - Sian Thomas, Mr Robinson - Michael Crossman, Wendy - Julia Coulter, Carl - David Blackwell, Student - Stella Martin.

The Graduate has been adapted from Charles Webb's novel by Polly Thomas. Polly is a Sony award-winning director and producer of radio drama. Her theatre work includes directing for the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester; and the Manchester Literature Festival launch of Margaret Atwood's new book, The Year of the Flood.

A BBC Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

02 LAST2012072220120728

Ben pursues Elaine to Berkeley, much to the fury of his former lover, Elaine's mother.

Now that's he's stopped sleeping with Mrs Robinson, Benjamin has become obsessed with her daughter, Elaine. Now, at last, he understands the purpose of his life. He drives through the night to Berkeley, determined to find Elaine and marry her. Elaine, however, has other plans.

The Graduate has been adapted from Charles Webb's novel by Polly Thomas. Polly is a Sony award-winning director and producer of radio drama. Her theatre work includes directing for the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester; and the Manchester Literature Festival launch of Margaret Atwood's new book, The Year of the Flood.

A BBC Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

02 LAST2012072220120728

Now that's he's stopped sleeping with Mrs Robinson, Benjamin has become obsessed with her daughter, Elaine. Now, at last, he understands the purpose of his life. He drives through the night to Berkeley, determined to find Elaine and marry her. Elaine, however, has other plans.

CAST: Benjamin Braddock - Danny Mahoney, Mr Braddock - William Hope, Mrs Braddock - Laura Brook, Elaine - Samantha Dakin, Mrs Robinson - Sian Thomas, Mr Robinson - Michael Crossman, Wendy - Julia Coulter, Carl - David Blackwell, Student - Stella Martin.

The Graduate has been adapted from Charles Webb's novel by Polly Thomas. Polly is a Sony award-winning director and producer of radio drama. Her theatre work includes directing for the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester; and the Manchester Literature Festival launch of Margaret Atwood's new book, The Year of the Flood.

A BBC Cymru Wales production, directed by Kate McAll.

Ben pursues Elaine to Berkeley, much to the fury of his former lover, Elaine's mother.