Always thought that your biggest shock when leaving university and joining the rat race would be the cost of beer? I’d be willing to bet that if you’ve had any experience of looking for work, you’ve already realised that the cost of your shoe addiction or the price of a pint is the least of your worries.

The employment market is saturated with skilled workers, apprentices and other graduates and the options available are snapped up quickly by high achievers. The question is, how do you utilise your hard-earned and well-deserved degree, increase your ability to get employed and get started with your career? The answer: think outside the box.

Many people go to university and choose their degree programme with an exact idea of where they want to be in ten years. Whilst others choose a degree based on their personal interests, or their strongest subjects and will decide upon a career later down the line. If you are one of the latter then you have a unique opportunity to consider a wide range of career options and tap into the ‘hidden job market’.

Whatever your degree subject may be, you’ve already demonstrated to employers that you have strong self-motivation, good analytical skills and an ability to apply yourself to a given task. The next step is finding opportunities to use these skills and gain employment in a wildly competitive market.

Working out which sectors are doing well in today’s economic climate can be a tough one, but certain industries aren’t as vulnerable as others. The Waste, Recycling and Resource Management Sector, no longer associated with dirty vans dumping rubbish into landfill sites, is now a thriving industry cultivating some of the most technologically advanced equipment of our time.

The sector is crying out for graduates with engineering, science and environmental degrees, to develop sustainable energy-from-waste technologies that will change the face of the industry and continue the multi-million pound biofuel initiatives. Mechanical engineers, environmental scientists, Waste Managers and Logistics Managers are just a handful of the roles available for the right candidates.

If your degree is in IT, retail or marketing you could have equal success in the Waste, Recycling and Resource Management Sector. IT managers, business development executives and Environment Agency Regulators also have a role in this massive industry. There are huge public and private employers operating in the sector and there is a demand for individuals with degrees in a wide range of subjects. Misconceptions about the industry means that competition is not as strong, but that the benefits are just as high, as employers seek to find people who will fill the skills-gaps that continue to arise.

Now that you’ve found a lesser-known but highly profitable job market, you still need to set yourself apart from other graduates. One way to do this is through further education in the specific subject area. This is a tried and tested route to getting a rung on the ladder and WAMITAB offer a Level 3 Award in Waste and Resource Management that fits the bill.

Delivered in a ‘taught-and-tested’ environment, the qualification is a great way of getting the technical knowledge required to make the smooth transition in to the Waste, Recycling and Resource Management sector. With a range of bite sized units of study including topics such as ‘Environmental Impact of Waste and Resources Management’ and ‘Technical Aspects of Managing Wastes and Resources’, this qualification seeks to give graduates a working understanding of the industry without any need for previous experience. Completion of the qualification will demonstrate to employers that you have a wide knowledge of the sector, which, combined with the skills and knowledge gained during your degree will be an attractive prospect.

Alternatively, the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) operates a two-day course (including an assessment) which demonstrates operator competence for the purpose of operating certain permitted waste and resources facilities. The course also provides a greater understanding of the legislative implications of holding a permit. This is a good idea if you are considering a career as a Waste Manager, as it provides the knowledge required to begin working on certain waste sites.

Once you’ve gained employment, the best way to progress quickly is to continue your education and training. WAMITAB offer government and industry recognised Level 4 qualifications which are assessed on-the-job and cover a range of waste, recycling and resource management technologies. Completion of one of these qualifications is a sure-fire way to increase your employability and reach the high level job you’ve been looking for.

Recent labour market intelligence published by the Office for National Statistics highlighted the issue facing many new graduates: 1 in 5 recent graduates, who are economically active, looking and available for work are unable to find any. Ironically, the Waste, Recycling and Resource Management Industries are facing skills shortages that are simply crying out for graduate calibre entrants.

There has never been a better time for graduates to consider a career in one of the many exciting and fast-moving job roles available in this sector. Call WAMITAB today on 01604 231950 or visit the website for advice and guidance on how they can make ‘thinking outside the box’ work for your career.

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