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Unpaid students to deliver boost to UK economy

Unpaid students to deliver boost to UK economy

Category: Economy

Updated: 04/08/2009
First Published: 31/07/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The UK economy is set to benefit to the tune of over £260 million this summer, as an army of students totalling hundreds of thousands will work for free in a bid to boost their CVs.

New research from Abbey has revealed that the majority of students in the UK (56 per cent) feel under pressure to improve their work experience record in light of the increasingly competitive job market.

As a result, as many as 437,000 students will volunteer for unpaid work this summer, saving the economy approximately £286 million. Three quarters of volunteers said they are likely to be out of pocket because of the work.

Students will complete up to 6.8 million hours of unpaid work in the coming months, with the average person set to take on 17 working days. Almost 140,000 say they expect to spend four weeks or more of their summer break working for nothing, while an estimated 68,000 will give up as much as eighth weeks of their own time.

Many volunteers will be hoping to add some much needed depth to their work history as the conditions of the graduate jobs market shows no signs of improving.

Many firms have decreased the size of their schemes for newly qualified students or ended them altogether, while increasing numbers of graduates are choosing to go travelling for lengthily periods after graduation in the hope the market will have improved by the time the return to the UK.

"This research shows the vital contribution students make to the UK economy, even before they have graduated. It is important for today's students to be able to demonstrate that they have gained experience outside mainstream education, but they will need to be financially savvy," said Gillian Almond, head of Abbey current accounts.

"It is at times like this that students need to take a few minutes to ensure they are getting a good deal from their bank account."

Moneyfacts Student Accounts comparison tables can help students find the account that suits their particular needs for this summer and beyond.

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