2012: The Year of Doom…For Youth Unemployment
The doom and gloom of 2012 has well and truly arrived. Whilst the next few months may bring with them warnings about the impending doom that is the end of the world and everything you must do to protect yourself and your loved ones (everyone get your old ‘How to Survive the End of the World – Y2K edition’ out), I, along with just over a million other young people, will spend time worrying about the immediate doom of unemployment.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has estimated that this year will bring with it the worst rate of unemployment since the early 1990s, increasing from 2.64 million to 2.85 million across the board.
The number of ‘old’ graduates still looking for jobs remains worryingly high; I’ll use myself as an example. I graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2009 and subsequently from LSE in 2010 having gone straight into a Masters because I was sure it was the only way to better my job prospects. Here I am…still looking.
As it goes, blame is being placed on everything and everyone instead of really looking into how the cuts and austerity measures introduced by this government, and now supported by its opposition, have contributed to the loss of jobs.
The past year has seen me take on numerable unpaid internships, as well as juggling countless applications for every type of employment you can think of. I’ve worked part time in a pub, as a secretary, and at one point as a domestic cleaner…all to get me by. There is no shame in taking on these jobs, they are honest and respectable employment (even if you are left frustrated by the fact that years of study and mountains of debt seem to be leading you no closer to your career ambitions) but even these jobs are becoming scarce. The fact is that there are now 23 people for every job (up from 17 in October), a number likely to increase as cuts continue to affect every part of society.
Prime Minister David Cameron tells me that he ‘gets it‘, but what he doesn’t seem to ‘get’ is that his government has given no real solution for the millions of people that have started the new year by entering into a tunnel of unemployment with no visible light at the end of it.
As young people struggle to find work, many give up trying all together, returning to studies or internships whilst they wait for the job market stabilise. It is a dark prospect for both the population and the government.
Age and experience are major factors that employers take into account when selecting successful candidates. I have been turned away from jobs for being under the age of 25 for example, having been told that they were looking for someone with more experience. Ironically, I have also been turned away from other jobs for having too much experience and too many qualifications (they felt that someone who had not had the same ‘opportunities’ as me should be allowed to have the chance).
As we enter into this New Year, the coalition government, the opposition and employers have a duty not to accept the predictions that unemployment will not fall below 2.5 million before the middle of the decade, and concentrate instead on new ways to tackle this problem. The more the youth of this country are isolated from employment, the less this country is investing in its future.
The result? A stagnated economy and an even gloomier prospect for the next generation who will be facing the long-term effects of the lowest employment rates in 20 years. If we ever make it out of 2012 that is…
Originally published at The Huffington Post