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The Fifth Annual Student Living Index released today by NatWest bank indicates a record number of students are now taking part-time jobs to pay their way through their education in an effort to stem the tide of debt. “So what?” you say, “Why shouldn’t students work and contribute to the cost of their education?”

Of course they should be able to make some sort of contribution to the costs of a higher education but surely not only by toiling at basic minimum wage rates? The latest crop of students is facing higher debts than ever before and is no longer funded by government grants. According to the NUS the average student debt for students graduating after a three year course is currently £20,000 and this is set to rise as the cost of living continues to increase.

Thousands of students are now benefiting from a new website which matches their skills with the needs of businesses and individuals. Through studentgems students are earning at a significantly higher hourly rate and gaining valuable work experience at the same time. The site allows them to fit jobs around their timetable so their studies are not adversely affected and they are no longer stuck with traditional student jobs such as cleaning and waiting on tables.

The beneficiaries are the businesses and individuals who are using the site to tap into the student market and have discovered a pool of immense talent. Radrie Cole, whose business Taxi Medicals needed a new website, used studentgems to find a student for the job and commented “He was so efficient and fast that I could hardly keep up... he is 19 years old!” The student in question is Brannan Coady, who was delighted with the feedback from another satisfied customer. He said “Studentgems has enabled me to rapidly increase my customer base and now provides over 80% of my new customers. Before I found studentgems I was forced to have a part time job to pay my fees, but I am now able to dedicate my time and effort into my customers’ website and logo designs - whilst making a lot more money!”

Lisa Simpson from London wanted some coaching for her children in a range of activities from piano to athletics to singing. She said “I have hired two gems, Charlotte and Chris, in the past week. Both have been remarkable for their skill, enthusiasm, reliability and communication. I have been very impressed by the vast skill sets offered through studentgems and my own experience leads me to have a high degree of confidence in the quality individuals choosing to use the site.”

Since launching in September 2007 studentgems has seen a rapid increase in the number of registered site users and now has over 10,000 people using the site. Director and co-founder Joanna Ward said “There is no doubt that our students are highly talented and can offer a wide range of skills. They are part of ‘Generation Y’ or ‘Boomlets’ (children of Baby Boomers) and are the first to experience such high levels of debt. Characteristically they are self-confident, determined and entrepreneurial; hardly the stereotypical image of a student and it is important for peoples’ perceptions to be brought up-to-date. We have seen first-hand how techno-savvy and talented these students are and witnessed their commitment to the commercial world.”

ENDS is the brainchild of Joanna Ward and Sue Harrison, two women who saw the potential for the idea of a “one-stop shop” for students and businesses throughout the UK. The site is the only website which acts as an online skills marketplace focussing entirely on matching students’ skills with the needs of businesses and individuals. The site can be visited at

For more information on, case studies, logos, photographs or artwork, or to arrange an interview with Joanna or Sue, please contact or telephone 01753 882657 has been featured on BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 4 and in the national press including The Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times and The Financial Mail on Sunday.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of in the following categories: Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Education & Human Resources, for more information visit