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Technology skills go to waste

PAUL KING, 23, has a degree in applied electronics from John Moores University, Liverpool, but works for a local authority answering calls on an environmental hot-line. The work is interesting, he says, but he isn't using his expertise.

He takes about 120 calls a day from 8.30am to 4.30pm. "I'm answering questions about environmental problems from members of the public.

"They ask questions about issues such as refuse collection or abandoned cars. It's a worthwhile job and it's good to be able to help people but I'm not using my knowledge of electronics.

"I left university and came home to Leeds where I still live with my parents. I hoped to use my qualifications to find work in areas such as computers and new technology, designing webpages or other Internet generated work but I haven't been able to get a job. Although I am academicaly qualified I am always being told I need experience first. It is a catch-22 situation.

"I took a temporary job with a bank while I looked for something permanent in electronics. I also considered the Royal Navy as a way of developing my skills but a serious knee injury caused by playing football put an end to that idea.

"My friends were in similar work situations when they left university, trying to find work to suit their qualifications, but they seem to be making progress through promotion more quickly than I have and they have good prospects.

"I have taken this job with Leeds City Council not just because I need to earn a living but because I hope this will be the beginning of a career with the local authority. I've got lots of ideas and I'd like to earn promotion as soon as I can and be able to use my qualifications."

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