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It's not all doom and gloom in 2012

Mike Barnard asks what joy the Olympics and the Queen's diamond jubilee will bring to students and graduates

Its not all doom & gloom in 2012

A new year always means ambitious resolutions and the promise of fresh opportunities. So what joy will the much-hyped year in which the Olympic Games come to London and the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee bring to students or graduate jobseekers? A host of new sporting venues have been built and there's an extra bank holiday in June, but you can look forward to more benefits than an additional four-day weekend and a summer of watching sport.

Much has been made of the £6 billion cost of the Olympics, with most of that spend coming directly from the taxpayer. Some say it's a waste of money and that the regeneration of East London will be short-lived - these grumblings are entirely valid. A lot must be done to ensure that after the Games, athletes continue to be supported and that the legacy of the London Olympics is not merely a collection of abandoned sports facilities and a large bill. But there is every indication that the Olympics will offer us a rewarding experience with a positive impact on the tough jobs market.

It's estimated that the Games will generate around 100,000 jobs, and not just in London - Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Weymouth will all have positions available. Some of these start now and more will become available as the year progresses. You can register your interest in working at the Olympics at London2012.com and it's certainly one way of keeping up a new year resolution to be more active in finding work or gaining experience for your CV.

But employment issues aren't going away in 2012, and finding a job remains a tough task for anyone. One of the first pieces of news I read this year was from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development about their annual employment forecast. The CIPD claims that 2012 will see the number of people in work in the UK drop by 120,000, leading to unemployment rising to 2.85 million - grim reading for a gale-hit January.

So don't let opportunities slip through your fingers by needlessly putting off applications or failing to begin your search early enough. Many businesses use January and February to plan and recruit for the year ahead, which can be crucial for students and graduates alike - internships, placements and full time work will all be up for grabs. Keep your eyes on job sites and speak to a careers advisor if you're in need of some ideas: your university careers service will help whether you're a student or a graduate. Acting now could mean you get to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee without any job worries.   

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