I was reading the Evening Standard yesterday and was captured by an article highlighting the problems of unemployment amongst young people in London. The plight of teenagers facing a future of menial work or unemployment is now a reality for many of the Capitals youth. It is the norm now when leaving school, college or university to send off hundreds of job applications and to receive no notifications, either rejections or job offers, employers more often than not don’t reply to the applicants.
I can’t imagine the plight of these young people, to start off in pursuit of a working life and career, with aspirations and ambitions and then experiencing rejection piled upon rejection, after paying for an expensive education and being saddled with debt, then to find your degree or college diploma is worthless. The bleakness and uncertainty facing young people today must be frightening and soul-destroying. Link to the Evening Standard
I shall digress for a while;
Going back to the end of the 60′s, I left school at 15, as we were poor my mother insisted I couldn’t go to college and I should get a job to learn a trade. Coming from a working class family ‘Up North’, leaving school at 15 and getting a job was the norm, all my peers did just that. Most went to the local industries to learn a trade, BAC, English Electric, Leyland Motors the choices were plenty. I was offered three jobs within 2 weeks, I went for an interview at Goss, BAC and Joshua Hoyle all three jobs were variations of apprentice engineer.
I took the Joshua Hoyle job because my uncle worked there and my mate got a job there as well as an apprentice electrician so we could start together, thing was I was able to choose where I wanted to work, a choice of career other than stacking shelves or minimum wage.
I left the family home aged 18 as I wanted independence, renting a flat was easy and cheap, in those days you had security when renting, non of this 6 months short-term tenancy agreements were the landlord can kick you out on a whim. To be British and young was a good feeling, the country was full of optimism and people seemed to have a sense of community and a pride in their country.
So what went wrong with our society, community, country? What on earth could turn a reasonably prosperous society into one where our children struggle to get a job, property is too expensive to buy for first time buyers, rental property is nothing but temporary accommodation without any security? The governments over the last 25 years have taken us deeper into dept and appear to be unable to get to grips with the economy, unemployment, housing, utilities, transport, immigration, the health service and the well-being of the country.
I think worst of all is the decline of our industries and manufacturing. We are an island with a population of around 60-63 million, it is difficult to ascertain the true number of people living in the UK, especially in London – there are thousands of people living in the capital who are working illegally and are not included in official counts. Successive governments have let this country become a consumer society reliant upon overseas goods and imports. We produce little of value in this country, unlike Germany and France we have sold off important industries and have nothing of strength, almost everything in a Britishers house is made overseas, including the clothes we wear.
Part 2 – Will follow tomorrow.