COLLEGE leaders say they will support ‘Covid generation’ students who could face unemployment when they graduate due to the pandemic, as one man said he was 'at breaking point'.

Angela Joyce, chair of the Midlands Engine Skills Board and CEO of WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group), has warned that many graduates will face unemployment over the next few months as they try to compete for very few jobs on the market.

Ms Joyce said: “The pandemic has created a ‘Covid Generation’ – young adults completing studies at college and university who are now unable to gain employment.”

Mature student Patryk Dolega said he has been struggling to support himself during the pandemic and can’t find a job. He told the Worcester News: “I’m in my late 30’s and I don’t have access to any grants or funds as such, as they’re mainly for people under 25. Since the beginning of March I’ve been left to fend for myself, with no money, no income, no job, basically nothing, and as I’m a full time student I’m not entitled to any help from the government either.”

Mr Dolega, who lived in Evesham before going to university in Cardiff, said: “I’m at my breaking point as at the moment I don’t have enough to even go shopping. To keep a roof over my head I’ve used all I had and got myself into debt. I am about to start my final year of uni and I really need financial help to proceed as I have got literally no one else to turn to. I would appreciate any support and help.”

A spokesman for Heart Of Worcestershire College, which has a campus in Deansway, Worcester, said: “[We] will continue to do all we can to support a major national plan for economic recovery. The report ‘Rebuild: A skills led recovery plan’ from the Association of Colleges identifies the adverse impact that recession and its cause via the pandemic will have on young people and disadvantaged adults.

“Nowhere will be protected from the economic impact of this situation and colleges stand ready to work with employers and support agencies such as job centres, to provide support where we can. This might be careers guidance, skill updates, learning new skills or personal support for those who need help building their confidence for interviews, and equipping people with the 21st century skills they need to be successful in their workplace and for new roles as recovery happens.

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