‘I thought I would get a job quickly’ says jobless Rachel Arnold from Hornchurch

Rachel Arnold is 24, but jobless

Rachel Arnold is 24, but jobless - Credit: Archant

When Rachel Arnold graduated from university in 2010, like many people she was expecting a job to be out there waiting for her.

But three years on, despite having a teaching qualification the 24-year-old has been unemployed for almost a year.

“I was a bit naive because I thought the qualification would mean that I would get a job,” says Rachel.

“It is hard because a lot of people have retrained as teachers so a lot of the roles have already been taken up and I didn’t realise that there would be so many people applying for the same job.”

Rachel, from Lewis Road, Hornchurch, has found herself in the dole queue even though she has applied for more than 100 jobs and had 15 interviews.


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She said: “I always get really positive feedback from the interviews. A lot of them say that I am suitable for the job, but that I just don’t have the experience.

“But I have gone out and got every volunteering experience possible and I still haven’t got a job – so I just don’t know what it is they want.”

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Now the former Emerson Park student has taken to social networking forum, Streetlife to highlight her plight and to raise awareness of unemployment amongst young people.

She is also using the website to try to set up a social group of other unemployed people.

“Anything has got to be better than the job centre,” she said

“My experience there is not great. They don’t really know what to do with you and just pass you on to different advisers.”

Rachel is hoping that the group will help unemployed people realise that they are not alone.

She said: “Things have got to change because at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be much prospects for anyone my age.

“It all looks pretty grim and I am hoping that is where the group will step in.”

Rachel graduated from the University of East London in 2010 with a degree in moving images.

It was in her final year at university that she thought about a career working with young people.

She said: “I wasn’t so much interested in teaching, but working more on the pastoral side of education because teachers don’t only teach, but have to deal with other problems from the students.

“I was advised to do the post-graduate certificate in education (PGCE) because I was told that would make me more likely to get a job as a pastoral worker or learning support assistant in a school.”

Rachel managed to get a job working three days a week at a college through an agency, but fell on hard times when the college was forced to get rid of all agency staff.

She said: “I didn’t blame the college. I thought I would get another job quickly, but it has just been really hard.”

Not having a job has also caused a strain on family relations for Rachel, who has been forced to stay at home living with her parents.

“I love my parents dearly, but there are three adults living in the house and that can cause a little bit of tension.

“There are times that I would like the house to myself, but I can’t because it is my parents’ house.” She added: “I also miss having the routine and meeting people.

“When I do get a job it is going to be a shock to the system because the last job I had was only three days a week.”

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