I saw a news story on the BBC website this morning saying that 20.5% of Britain’s youth are unemployed and out of full time education and I started wondering what the cause of this was.
There are, I believe, plenty of jobs available for those that want them. They may not be the highest paid or most glamorous jobs imaginable but they are there and I think it’s safe to say that it’s easier to climb the ladder with your foot on a rung than on the floor.
So why is the unemployment rate so high?
A cynical part of me thinks it’s due to unrealistic expectations. So many people these days come out of education with the belief that they will be able to, essentially, walk into a job that they want on a high salary. The careers guidance offered to many young people serves to reinforce this and doesn’t paint an accurate picture of how competitive the modern jobs market is. But is this something we can fix? We want our children to work hard in school and aim to become well paid, responsible, professional adults, telling them that even after 3 or more gruelling years at university they may then find themselves flipping burgers or stacking shelves because there are no graduate positions for engineering or business graduates unless they want to move hundreds of miles isn’t likely to motivate them to do so. Ultimately though this leads to people holding out hope of getting their ideal job at the expense of taking a job that will, if nothing else, yield a pay check each month and provide some real world experience.
I don’t know ho much truth there is in this, but it does frustrate me to walk down a busy high street seeing windows full of help wanted signs and then to see rising unemployment statistics and lengthening unemployment lines.