Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 18:35 UK

Recession hitting professionals

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Redundant solicitor Laura Finnigan is considering retraining as a primary school teacher

Richard Bond
Business Correspondent, BBC Look East

It is not just shop staff and factory workers who are losing their jobs in this recession.

Professional people such as lawyers, architects and surveyors are also getting the chop.

Laura Finnigan, 26, worked hard to qualify as a conveyancing solicitor. But in February she was made redundant from her job in Colchester.

With no legal jobs in prospect, she is thinking about retraining as a primary school teacher.

I put lots of money into it, I funded myself through law school. Now there are no jobs out there for me in the law
Laura Finnigan

"I feel like I went into law because it was a safe career, a safe option," she said.

"I put lots of money into it, I funded myself through law school. Now there are no jobs out there for me in the law.

"At my stage in life I don't want to live at home. I want to buy a house, have a car.

"So I'd like to retrain and go forward in something, whether it's teaching or some other career."

Up to 10,000 solicitors are estimated to have lost their jobs in England and Wales since the onset of this recession.

Conveyancing solicitors have been particularly affected because of the collapse of the housing market.

Chartered surveyors are also losing their jobs, and for the same reason.

'Boredom'

David Eldridge, 52, is a surveyor from North Norfolk. He lost his job in January.

"I miss work dreadfully," he said. "It's like driving a car and then just putting on the brakes.

"It's the boredom which follows, too - working out how to fill your time."

Mr Eldridge is reasonably confident of finding work again - he detects signs that the housing market is coming back to life.

Professional and managerial staff are losing their jobs at a faster rate than other occupational groups, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Firms of lawyers, surveyors and architects are also cutting back on recruitment.

This presents a problem for graduates coming on to the labour market who had hoped for a safe and well-paid job.



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