Have read an ambiguous article today about "Young People in the UK to Choose Between Poverty and Debt".
What is apparent, there are socio-economical issues that the UK people would like to resolve:
- growing unemployment
- growing poverty
- young people sitting on welfare payments
- competition from skilled people from other countries
The initiative David Cameron announced sounds very interesting, especially in it's part where jobless "would have to accept mandatory 'community work'" if failing to find employment within reasonable timeframe.
I would like to highlight some failing points in the article that are presenting the initiative as "predictably vindictive" and with permission from a reader to provide advice to "young" persons like me.
One of the complaints is low level of payment for apprenticeship and for young men and women who just finished studies. This claim is based on presumption that every business owner (and in modern world everything is "considered" as a business even a government) should pay as much as required by the person who is seeking apprenticeship or a newly graduate. Meaning a person in 99.9% of cases with zero or very limited experience in any industry and in life generally.
Imagine you run basket weaving business. Leaving the issue of sales and other business related problems you are suggested to pay high salary to an apprentice or a recent graduate who doesn't know how to weave properly, doesn't know all your product designs, very slow (because of no skills), keeps asking questions and make mistakes here and there. Also if you have a contract to make a deliver a batch of baskets for certain deadline and of certain quality that you charge for - you would need to make sure the apprentice is covered by somebody more experienced and that person wouldn't be very happy to work more in prevailing majority of cases without immediate increase in remuneration.
People who distribute money to others and can control this process are deciding what to do with it. Therefore complaints about minimal payments are just useless. In addition to that there is a passage "History offers something of a solution then — falling poverty through rising wages and state funding for those who choose learning", which is not followed by the explanation of where to get the money to rise wages? In the past it has been easy with refinancing - meaning that countries could grow debt or other means to boost their internal economy the results of which was invested in welfare, wages, infrastructure etc. Now "The Times They Are a-Changin'"
Second problem I see in the article is an appeal to some guarantee of earnings - "while doing nothing to guarantee earnings that are worth turning up for". Everybody who is currently leaving on planet Earth and is a human being should understand that there is no guarantee of earnings! Can businesses (including government) get money to feed people working for them - there are earnings. That means every person who is willing to feel comfortable with earnings should be flexible and learn as much about the world as possible and work harder every day. "Being smarter" is getting negative connotation these days, because too many people showing off as being "smart" and take advantage of others. Therefore not everybody can be smarter, but everybody can and should work harder. Labour played a good deal in the transition from ape to man a long time ago and therefore labour makes us better. All labour that is value adding and that is available to us in the modern world.
I have been a student myself (almost 15 years ago I finished university) and I understand the issues that the young adults are facing, but the key is to understand that people who provide working places and create opportunities also would like a reward for that. This is alright and natural and there is no foreseeable easy solutions for this conflict of interests.