Wednesday, 9 January 2013
So I don't quite know what to make of 'The Prince's Trust Youth Index', which has some fairly alarming statistics from its most recent survey.
27% of the youths surveyed believe their prospects have been 'permanently damaged' by the economic downturn.
19% said they 'had no future'. This figure goes up to 36% for those who are NEETs.
My first impression was to get quite angry that one in five of our youth believed they had no future. Get a grip, I thought, there's a world of opportunity out there for anyone prepared to graft and use their imagination. Has Britain come to this? I could give cash in hand work to a couple of people most weekends if any were to knock on the door. Pull your socks up! The world owes no one a living! Join the Forces! Go West, young man! etc.
Then I reflected that the survey had probably taken place in inner cities (though it claims it is weighted and representative of all UK young people aged 16-25), in which case we should be cheering that 81% of them DID believe they had a future (and, we must hope, are motivated enough to go out and grab it by the bollocks rather than wait for it to arrive, gift-wrapped, at their door).
Then I reflected further and remembered that youth unemployment in much of the Garlic Belt averages 42% and is as high as 58% in Greece and Spain. And that includes graduates, the highly skilled, the whole shebang.
Perhaps we ought to be thankful and accept that 20% of our yoof is a small percentage, some of them will end up in the black economy, etc etc.
We need, urgently, to improve their prospects. And the way to do that is to put a stop to the sort of immigration which soaks up all the unskilled jobs and leaves our chaps on the dole and a life of benefits or crime, which thanks to the tireless IDS is going to be less feasible an option.
The bottom end of any society needs education, a welfare safety net and programmes to help the unemployed become productive, self-sufficient and to live life without indignity. The Labour Party has been a disaster for this section of our society. To give it it's due, it is in these areas that this government is making some progress. Gove's education crusade is bold and crucial, IDS's welfare reforms rather more timid, but when climbing a mountain thousands of small steps is the only way.
But the greatest difference we can make to those at the bottom of the heap is to protect the jobs we expect them to do from being hoovered up by economic migrants. This is not about race or creed or religion or culture, it's about basic economics. Halt unskilled and low-skilled immigration immediately - there is, on balance, great economic harm in it.
création d' idle at 11:58 am