Statistics in the news show that 1 in 5 young people are NEETs (Not in Employment Education or Training).
What a waste of money, talent and…well, life really. For if you believe as I do that gainful, engaging employment is essential to a person’s physical and mental wellbeing then this is a dreadful situation for anyone to be in. It’s damaging to the individual’s self-esteem and detrimental to society as a whole.
I also believe that the wave of unemployable teenagers we are now seeing, is as a result of the way we prepare them for their working life…or don’t. Formal education is obviously a major part of this preparation and one we have consistently tinkered with for the last 30 years. It’s not achieving that which must surely be our aim…employable people.
While I’m on the subject of preparing them for life, how does shopping as a hobby, celebrity culture and downplaying others’ achievement help?
Even if the Government’s reforms in Education manage to bring the system’s output back in line with what business needs, we will still have this wave of unemployed and unemployable young people to deal with.
I think that anything we can do to shorten the time it takes the next generation to “get up to speed” with life then that is worthwhile…otherwise each new person needs to reinvent the wheel themselves and that is just a waste of the work that has gone before.
After 16 years in education, there used to be the option to carry on or to seek an apprenticeship. In that way the skills that one human being had learned in their employment were passed on to the up and coming employee.
Thank goodness this approach is again being recognised for the employability it can bring and is now being supported by Government.
I have worked with some amazing young people in entrepreneurs’ groups who have had the self-esteem and confidence to start their own business and have achieved more than I ever could at their age…as a society, we’ve still got it in us.