YES, ONE IN FIVE YOUNG ARE JOBLESS – BUT WE MUST NOT GIVE UP ON THEM, SAYS GRADUATE FOG
Did anybody see last night’s Newsnight?
I thought the coverage of the latest unemployment statistics was fantastic – but one thing grated on my nerves: this label the ‘Lost Generation’.
When I first heard the term, it was being used as a threat of what could happen if the politicians didn’t get their act together to help the young people of this country.
But increasingly it seems to be used alongside a suggestion that the establishment has already given up on young people, and that it is inevitable that a whole generation will be ‘lost’.
I have a problem with this defeatist tone of covering the important problem of youth unemployment. Those in power mustn’t give up – and this generation becoming ‘lost’ isn’t inevitable.
Yes, the latest set of unemployment statistics (announced yesterday) painted a pretty bleak picture for the UK’s young people. The number of unemployed 16- to 24-year-olds has jumped by 28,000 to 943,000 – which means almost one in five (19.8%) are out of work. This is the highest number since records began in 1992.
Clearly, this is not good news – and unemployment is a complex issue to solve. But we must continue to believe that it can be solved, if we put our heads together.
And if the politicians stopped talking and started listening to what this generation is actually saying, we might have a chance. You have bags of ideas and energy. You are resourceful and hard-working. You don’t expect to get-rich-quick after graduation, but you do expect to be paid a fair (and lawful) wage.
You have invested a huge amount in an education you were encouraged to get – and now you are being squeezed out of the job market because you don’t have any experience. Meanwhile, the politicians are doing nothing to help.
Angry? Yes. But lost? No.
Are you part of the ‘Lost Generation’?
How do you feel about this label? Have the politicians abandoned you? Or do you have faith that they will act soon, to help young people into work?