During the time I was looking for a graduate job I was moaning to my Dad a lot about the amount of people I was competing against for these job. I was feeling a lot of pressure to perform and knew employers all wanted 2:1’s and everybody around me seemed to be getting them. He told me that skilled jobs have always been difficult to get and the competition’s always been there. I disagreed because I knew more people were going to university now than ever. Then he told me something that really stuck with me and became my own opinion.
When my Dad was younger instead of everyone going to university they joined a Youth Training Scheme (YTS). It was around in the 80’s. It was supposed to be an on-the-job training course where you would work for a business for very little pay, about £30 per week. It was implemented because the large number of unskilled and unemployed.
The scheme was criticised immensely which ultimately ended with it being scrapped. The flaw was that it enabled employers to exploit school leavers by paying them very little and then not give them a job at the end of the course. Mostly because they could just replace them with another person on the scheme.
My point is that the government keeps putting this buffer in between school and getting a job. The people have always been there but they just keep getting shifted around. We went from getting paid very little to paying excessively just to get on the ladder.
University is just delaying the inevitable longer and creating an excuse for the lack of opportunity. Do we all need to be or want to be in university? The job situation is probably always going to be a problem because we live in a capitalist society that teaches us to strive for more. We’re not willing to settle for minimum wage, we’re not willing to settle for mediocre jobs. We want happiness, fulfilment and money.
Young people are thwarted at every opportunity trying to get a decent paying job. It’s an employers market where they can offer zero hour contracts, add clauses in your contracts that minimise your control and hire people with PhD’s to do menial work.
Experiencing how competitive the job market is first hand and learning what I know now it’s made me look at politics a lot differently. I don’t know what the future will hold for us all but one thing I know for sure but I won’t let my happiness hinge on a job.