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bedlam breakout

if you were young and unemployed today

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Some seem to think when we all left school we where all up and running and the bee's knee's, I bet if we could talk to the person who took us under their wing they will tell a slightly different tail but hopefully go on to say you made a good'un.

Quite. Apart from anything else, as a teenager, your social skills with adults aren't exactly the best, so dealing with customers can be a bit of a 'mare on both sides.

 

When I left school, my first job was a 10-month contract. I wonder if I'd have lasted that long if they didn't know I was only there for a set time. But my next job was easier to fit into, thanks to that first experience.

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I don't know if anyone saw the programme "Make me a German" on the BBC recently. It clearly showed to me that the work ethic and teamwork in the German pencil factory far outstripped what I see commonly over here. I'm not saying everyone here is lazy, but there is a distinct undercurrent of turning up at work and doing the least you can get away with.

Then again, employers these days are fairly ruthless and will pay as little as they can get away with, use zero hours contracts, keep people until just before their rights kick in and then lay them off etc. etc. Loyalty and "pulling in the same direction" requires all parties to have the same levels of commitment.

As for the foreign workers argument, perhaps its because they work hard and don't complain. Obviously I'd prefer to see those jobs going to our young people, but how many unemployed youngsters would travel from Sheffield to live in Kings Lynn and work in a sugar beet factory? Perhaps you could argue that they shouldn't have to, but in the end you can't poo jobs out of your backside when they don't exist.

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I left school in 1978, went to college for 2 years before finishing, couldn't get a job in Salford for love nor money, got a YTS when I was 19 working for Wimpey (the builders, not the burgers) for 3 months working on various sites in the middles of winter (mostley in Altrincham, and the IBM building* in East Manchester), but that was it from July 1980 to May 1983. There was no work to be had in those days for someone with no work qualifications.

In 1983 I got another government sponsored scheme working 3 days a week in Trafford Park, working for a charity that restored old, crappy furniture, and putting them in related care homes, etc. It was fun, but not really challenging.

That finished in1984, after exactly 12 months, then I was lucky enough to get my training course for a ODA, in July 1984, and apart from a couple of days when I was doing Agency, I've been employed right the way through until last Monday.

I'm 51, and living in a town with zero (or close to zero) jobs. The local Labour candidate has suggested their are 27 people chasing each job in Hastings. But I'm not back to square one completely, I have some tranferrable skills, I now know how to deal with people in stressful situations, and I work as a volunteer at the local British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electricals shop one day a week, so I have some retail experience too.

 

I think my future lies in the self-employment sector. Where I have two ideas that just need bump starting to get off the ground.

 

*The IBM building was still visable from the approach to M/cr Piccadilly Stn, last time I was there, and it gives me a feeling of some pride that I had a hand in building that all those years ago.

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I know it sounds unfair but getting that initial experience is always the problem. When my wife left uni about 8 years ago she volunteered to work at a local company for free in their accounts department for 6 weeks even though she had a 1:1 in Law and Accounts. Other students with the same grades took up to 6 months to get a job and really struggled. She had 3 full time offers within a month of completing the six weeks.

It may seem like a cheap labour scam, but what my wife got out of it was some real work experience, a good business reference, something to discuss that she's done in industry in an interview and a 2 days a week paid job (in the same place) until she got a permanent role sorted.

That is different though. It's one thing to offer your services free on a trial basis, in fact it can be a good idea. But the way it was then was 'do this or else'. Employers cottoned on to the fact that they didn't have to bother employing anyone permanently as they could just use the next divvy from the YTS.

It's even worse today for with that with agencies and zero hours contracts etc.

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Sorry if the above sounds like a job application.

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I think my future lies in the self-employment sector. Where I have two ideas that just need bump starting to get off the ground.

Good luck! I went self employed 6 years ago and haven't regretted it. OK I have stressful times when I'm worried about where my next contract will be, but its always been worth it.

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I have a certain amount of sympathy with young people today. It sometimes looks like they've been sold a false dream; spend three years and £20k plus on a university education and the world will be at your feet, only to find the reality is that all the world has to offer is stacking shelves. Think if I'd just spent that amount of time, and money I'd come out with a bit of a sense or entitlement too.

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I don't know if anyone saw the programme "Make me a German" on the BBC recently. It clearly showed to me that the work ethic and teamwork in the German pencil factory far outstripped what I see commonly over here. I'm not saying everyone here is lazy, but there is a distinct undercurrent of turning up at work and doing the least you can get away with.

Then again, employers these days are fairly ruthless and will pay as little as they can get away with, use zero hours contracts, keep people until just before their rights kick in and then lay them off etc. etc. Loyalty and "pulling in the same direction" requires all parties to have the same levels of commitment.

As for the foreign workers argument, perhaps its because they work hard and don't complain. Obviously I'd prefer to see those jobs going to our young people, but how many unemployed youngsters would travel from Sheffield to live in Kings Lynn and work in a sugar beet factory? Perhaps you could argue that they shouldn't have to, but in the end you can't poo jobs out of your backside when they don't exist.

Local kids in Kings Lynn can't get jobs in the local sugar beet factories Tim I also saw the "make me a German" program and it was also covered on BBC radio 2 the next day and one of the major factors that was coming across was the way the workers where treated by the management plus job security, it also said Germany focused more on the manufacturing industry than the financial industry.

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Local kids in Kings Lynn can't get jobs in the local sugar beet factories Tim I also saw the "make me a German" program and it was also covered on BBC radio 2 the next day and one of the major factors that was coming across was the way the workers where treated by the management plus job security, it also said Germany focused more on the manufacturing industry than the financial industry.

From wiki, so, y'know, treat as you will.

Germany - service sector 70%, industry 29%, agriculture 1%

UK  - service sector 78%, industry 21%, agriculture 1%

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From wiki, so, y'know, treat as you will.

Germany - service sector 70%, industry 29%, agriculture 1%

UK  - service sector 78%, industry 21%, agriculture 1%

I'm going on what was said on the radio by Germans themselves not what someone has wrote in Wikipedia.

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Local kids in Kings Lynn can't get jobs in the local sugar beet factories Tim.

 

That's not from my experience. The kids in Kings Lynn don't want to do those jobs according to the lads I play rugby with in Kings Lynn; at least not for the working hours and pay that are currently on offer. That's why there are so many Lithanuians in the area; they are willing to do the shift work, again I know that as have the lads at the club are Lithanuian. Therefore, in my limited geographical opinion, the problem isn't the foreign employees taking jobs, it's the local population unwilling to do the work.

 

I'd also like to highlight another poster's comments about labour migration in the UK; there doesn't seem much get up and go from the lower skilled labour market to move to places like Lincolnshire, London etc to undertake jobs in factories, retail outlets, agricultural industry etc. I know that is a very broad brush comment but you see 'half' off Southern Europe moving to London to work in McDonalds and 'half' of Eastern Europe moving to Lincolnshire and agricultural east but few British workers willing to do the same. I don't understand it...

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One issue is that many of the lower end jobs that many people used as starter jobs have gone abroad.  Take for example IT, 10-15 years ago many people started as IT Support on the helldesk then took advantage of internal secondments to get jobs in the 2nd and 3rd tier technical careers, I know four IT directors who started in this way.  Now, more and more companies are outsourcing IT Support to India or any other country that can do this quite basic job for 1/5th of the cheapest price of someone sitting at a UK desk.  Same with many other starter jobs, you can't start at the bottom any more and hope to prove you're good enough because those jobs have gone abroad.

 

I know more than a few companies are complaining that they can't find good junior techies, that's because they expect them to come out of the woodwork as trained and experienced but don't want to give them that training and experience themselves.  It's a self-destructive circle that's just abysmal for Britain, give it 5-10 years and there won't be a good pool of senior techies leaving the only realistic option of outsourcing entire IT departments abroad.

 

I had a discussion with a finance director once about this and he looked at me as if I were completely bonkers when I suggested that the government should treat these outsourcing deals in the same way that they treat imported goods of premium stuff that we can make ourselves, smack them with a nasty import duty.  Surely it's the same principle, work that could be done in the UK is done elsewhere so the government taxes its import into this country.

 

On the subject of youth unemployment, I spent a bit of my 80s adolescence in Fife with my family chasing fewer and fewer mining jobs.  I remember the school making it clear that it was getting harder to get work with the pits all bar shutting down.  There were still options though, if you weren't going to university then you had the option of going to Rosyth dockyard for an apprenticeship, they were quite active in the school at enthusing the 15/16 year olds.  They took hundreds of apprentices per year, guaranteeing them a full apprenticeship despite there being only about a 1/10 chance of a full adult job at the end in the dockyard but the other 9/10 came out as fully trained and experienced tradesmen.  It was essentially the state paying for the training of a large number of skilled workers.  That's mostly gone now with the privatisation of the dockyard, its downsizing to about 1/4 capacity and the employers only taking on what apprentices they need.  The mining villages there are just pathetic now in their lack of future for the kids, once thriving villages full of workers are now sink estates.

 

In the past, if you were from one of the mining villages and managed to get to university then you got yourself a degree and a job in the trade of your degree with no real debt.  Now, you go to university, get a degree and far more often than not you get a job not in your trade of degree but also get a massive debt to pay back in terms of overdraft, student loans, fee loans and so on.  If you're a kid from a mining village with parents on low wages, if they have jobs, and you find out that you're likely to get a £30-£40,000 debt before you start work then that's going to put you off.  A degree is an utter waste of time for many employed people but it seems to be the new minimum for many jobs that have no intention of ever using the degree skills learned at university.  For example, I saw one of my clients advertising for an IT Support helldesk operator, they wanted massive experience and a 2:1 degree for sitting at a desk answering basic checklist questions.

 

It's a f***ing depressing state of affairs if you're a 16-18 year old from a working class background these days.  I'm damnably glad I don't have to go through that now.

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One issue is that many of the lower end jobs that many people used as starter jobs have gone abroad.  Take for example IT, 10-15 years ago many people started as IT Support on the helldesk then took advantage of internal secondments to get jobs in the 2nd and 3rd tier technical careers, I know four IT directors who started in this way.  Now, more and more companies are outsourcing IT Support to India or any other country that can do this quite basic job for 1/5th of the cheapest price of someone sitting at a UK desk.  Same with many other starter jobs, you can't start at the bottom any more and hope to prove you're good enough because those jobs have gone abroad..

 

It's not just the jobs, take training.  I can fly to India, pay for food, hotel, etc and do 2 weeks Cisco training for the price of just the course in the UK.

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 I'm damnably glad I don't have to go through that now.   Me too, but that relates to the environment  expectations  and situation we we brought up so  maybe its a matter of the different contemporary  environment kids have lived through. If through their school life, kids are conditioned to think: A-levels. degree, job in chosen field, then yes, there are going to be a lot of disappointed kids. However, 

 

Think of it like this:

 

Its a university education, not a university training.  

 

Many companies DO run training and apprenticeship schemes and its increasing.

 

The depressing thing is that these seems to be still an attitude in some "working class" parents that university is not for the likes of us, a disdain for ambition and attainment,  a Sun/Mirror based celebrity culture, the idea that working  hard at school is waste of time..etc..a feeling that there SHOULD be jobs for the unskilled, almost. Well of course there are.  but they are going and going fast. Millworkers have been replaced by call centre operatives

 

 

Of course this nonsense, but how do we deal with those who think they have  thrown their chances away through not working hard enough at school?

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was working on a contract in east yorks bout 4 years ago- always remember a young lad on the job who was better than average, he just had a baby with his gf and all he wanted to do was graft, the guy paying the wages got a polish bloke to do the same job for 40pound cash a day, the young lad was trying to pay rent for a flat and do his best for his young and unplanned family, the polish guy was living in a caravan on a nearby industrial estate with 3 other poles, not commenting about any wrongs and rights here but I did feel quite sorry for the young English lad, he just couldn't compete, think he ended up splitting with his gf due to been skint all the time, don't blame foreign workers for trying to make a better life for themselves but it does get exploited by the wage payer.

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was working on a contract in east yorks bout 4 years ago- always remember a young lad on the job who was better than average, he just had a baby with his gf and all he wanted to do was graft, the guy paying the wages got a polish bloke to do the same job for 40pound cash a day, the young lad was trying to pay rent for a flat and do his best for his young and unplanned family, the polish guy was living in a caravan on a nearby industrial estate with 3 other poles, not commenting about any wrongs and rights here but I did feel quite sorry for the young English lad, he just couldn't compete, think he ended up splitting with his gf due to been skint all the time, don't blame foreign workers for trying to make a better life for themselves but it does get exploited by the wage payer.

And yet there were plenty a generation older to lecture him on how if he would give up foreign holidays and the nice car, he would soon be saving up a for a house.

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And yet there were plenty a generation older to lecture him on how if he would give up foreign holidays and the nice car, he would soon be saving up a for a house.

he didn't have a car and don't think he had ever been abroad mate, he was from council estate in hull I think its quite well known but cant think of its name, he was a genuine lad who had something about him and just wanted work, not seen him for ages hope he got the right break he desperately wanted.

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he didn't have a car and don't think he had ever been abroad mate, he was from council estate in hull I think its quite well known but cant think of its name, he was a genuine lad who had something about him and just wanted work, not seen him for ages hope he got the right break he desperately wanted.

Spectacular missing of the point.

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Spectacular missing of the point.

Whilst I would sympathise with that being an automatic response, I think it does relate to the original post.  The youth of today are often portrayed as spoilt and bone idle, in contrast to the elder generation who were never bums benefiting from the tolerance of the older generation. 

 

I still had a grant to go to University and left with only a four thousand in debt.  I also remember working my ###### off and getting nowhere for years, which young people will be doing now (while having to tolerate the old and smug).

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There was, and maybe still is, a magazine called 'opportunities' (think that was it's title) and it was basically a graduates job mag. I used to have a copy of the very first from about 1970. They were actually recruiting people who had been been to uni but dropped out!! ie the fact you went was enough for some jobs (big companies like Boots rtc too) regardless of whether you finished. This was how highly prized going to Uni was, whereas it neans almost nothing today except for certain ones.

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I would contest the thought that going to university means almost nothing today. Our graduates seem to be in demand and the annual survey of our alumni supports this. Just recently I gave references for two graduates who are walking in to jobs on more than I am. I'm not bitter, they've worked hard for it and deserve their success. Going to university is much more than just an extension of school learning and gaining a degree is much more than just learning a subject.

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I would contest the thought that going to university means almost nothing today. Our graduates seem to be in demand and the annual survey of our alumni supports this. Just recently I gave references for two graduates who are walking in to jobs on more than I am. I'm not bitter, they've worked hard for it and deserve their success. Going to university is much more than just an extension of school learning and gaining a degree is much more than just learning a subject.

I think it depends on the subjects (and Uni?).  I would imagine that maths and the sciences are still in demand.  Media and tourism less so?

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There was, and maybe still is, a magazine called 'opportunities' (think that was it's title) and it was basically a graduates job mag. I used to have a copy of the very first from about 1970. They were actually recruiting people who had been been to uni but dropped out!! ie the fact you went was enough for some jobs (big companies like Boots rtc too) regardless of whether you finished. This was how highly prized going to Uni was, whereas it neans almost nothing today except for certain ones.

I graduated in 1997.

I got one of those prized jobs, from that A5 book (not sure of the exact name but there was only one of note). There were 200+ applicants and we were all desperate.

I had to jump through hoops, two interviews and a two day assessment centre attended by the whole board where we presented in front of each other, did all sorts of group tasks etc. I left after twelve months as they'd spent £25k on the advertisement, the interviews, the assessment centre, and had ###### all money left to actually pay me enough money to live on. They completely failed to deliver on their promise to me to work in different departments and locations, so I took another graduate job back home for double the money the company I joined had decided that they'd recruit on the cheap, and that they'd seek out those that the bigger companies had spent thousands recruiting and then ignoring.

In truth I was much more employable after a year in my first role, and my second company got decent value for money from me.

I doubt that book exists in the same form, the Internet is king.

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