Barclays offers free housing to offset "shocking cost" of graduate job hunt

Barclays will offer graduate job interviewees free accommodation in London, Birmingham and Manchester to help offset the "shocking cost" of landing a post-university position.

Job hunters with interviews during November will be able to apply for two free nights' accommodation.

The banking giant said UK graduates spend an average of over £500 landing their first job.

“It’s shocking to see the true cost of landing that first job out of university," said Barclays personal banking managing director Sue Hayes.

More than half of the 2,000 graduates Barclays surveyed in August said they had not applied for a job because of the associated cost of turning up for an interview.

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Hayes added:

Graduates already face a challenging job market on top of record levels of student debt, so it’s disheartening to see how many of them are struggling to cover the costs of even attending an interview.

For years, some of the City's biggest graduate employers have covered travel expenses for interviewees.

But with the graduates facing an average of more than three interviews before being given a firm offer, additional costs, such as those for accommodation, could be a barrier to the City attracting top talent.

“We hope that by offering free accommodation in some of the most popular cities for graduate jobs, we’ll go some way to helping those who would otherwise struggle," said Hayes.

Read more: The nine UK universities ranked the best in the world

Full story: Barclays offers free housing to offset "shocking cost" of graduate job hunt: City A.M.

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