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07 Mar 2012

“Third of graduates in low-skilled jobs – and they’re the lucky ones”

Article by Sarah Cassidy in The Independent, 7 March 2012

“More than one in three recent graduates now works in a low-skilled job, up from around a quarter 10 years ago, new figures have shown. Over a third (35.9 per cent) of recent graduates were in non-graduate jobs at the end of 2011 – up from 26.7 per cent in 2001 … The lowest paid are those with degrees in the arts and humanities who earn an average of around £12 an hour – about 20 per cent lower than the graduate average.”

Among the ‘Case Studies: Faces of an Overqualified Workforce’ was Steven Dexter: ‘Art has always been my passion and when I graduated I wanted to work in galleries, ideally as a curator. But it has been very difficult. You need to do a lot of volunteering to have any chance of getting a job in the arts and I just haven’t been able to afford that. I work in a bar as a supervisor for something close to the minimum wage.’

Death of Robert Elwall, photography curator

Robert Elwall (1953-2012), historian of photography and curator

“Architecture’s relationship with photography has been intimate and dynamic … In Britain, nobody played a more important role in illuminating and preserving this historic panorama than Robert Elwall, photographs curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects, who has died at the age of 59” (obituary by Jay Merrick, The Independent, 14 March 2012)

“It is hard now to imagine how neglected photographs were among the collections of the RIBA in the late 1970s when Robert Elwall, a history graduate from Oxford, was a young member of the library staff. In the process of helping the then Librarian, David Dean, to assemble material for an exhibition on the 1930s, a small room was discovered at 66, Portland Place with four or five filing cabinets containing images left over from pre-war exhibition displays … and from the RIBA Press Office. This was the core of what is now one of the finest archives of photographs of its kind, whose acquisition was Robert’s outstanding achievement.” (Alan Powers, ‘Robert Elwall and the RIBA Photographs Collection’, The Journal of Architecture, 17:5 (2012))