With ‘unemployment’ practically a household name across the UK, it’s hardly surprising that youth unemployment figures have risen yet again to a rather impressive 1.2 million. It would seem that the concept of earning real money to provide for yourself and your family isn’t as enticing as the benefits you could ‘earn’ if you stayed away from the job centre.
A culture seems to have emerged from the past where young people brought up by parents who never worked feel that it’s acceptable for them to do the same. You could lead a life of luxury on the maximum amount of weekly benefits available (£500 per week), and this would certainly challenge a week’s worth of national minimum wage. What more could you want?
In addition to this, the publicity surrounding increased tuition fees and retirement ages isn’t exactly an advertisement for a life-long career; even those already in work have to re-assess their priorities each time the pension schemes face instability. There has never been a lack of job vacancies available to our generation if you look hard enough; the problem is that there isn’t enough support, persuasion or motivation to get people working from the start.
Agreed, there are people in the UK who genuinely cannot keep a job and receive benefits because they need to. It was never suggested otherwise. However, there are more and more young people who use the unemployment figure as an excuse to sit around all day, watching daytime TV and doing little else, because this is what society has allowed.
Now a fifth of people aged 16-24 are unemployed. Surely we should be increasing the number of opportunities available to those who do want to work, rather than increasing the number of benefits available to those who don’t. Few companies will want to employ someone who has nothing to show on their C.V. for the last five years. If we don’t at least attempt to amend these statistics within the next few years, it is guaranteed that youth unemployment will have a long-term effect on the national economy because, let’s face the facts, no country can keep over a million people on benefits for life.