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Make a comment on youth unemployment

Verity Murphy | 17:50 UK time, Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Newsnight and Newsbeat are looking at the issue of youth unemployment.

The recession is hitting the 16-24 age group hard, with some describing it as the lost generation.

What is your experience, or the experience of members of your family, and what could the government be doing to help?

We want to hear from you. Leave your comments below.


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  • Comment number 1.

    the hundreds of thousands of migrants seem to find work?

  • Comment number 2.

    My recomendation, based on my own experience of being that age, and unsettled in employment - re-Introduce National Service.

    It will provide a valuable experience in discipline and camaraderie.
    It will also help to restore some pride in country, particularly for the many who have chosen UK sanctuary and hospitality but whose allegiances are elsewhere. It does not need to be entirely military training, and could be more civic-based.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    New Deal failed on Day One in Dundee - in January 1998 - when someone in the Wellgate Job Centre asked during the UK New Deal launch to see 'the Executive and Professional Job Vacancies Register please?' Panic ensues:
    top civil servants from DfEE and HM Treasury who had flown up for this 'UK launch' from Whitehall immediately jumped in to tell the
    late Donald Dewar (then Secretary of State for Scotland - who was
    one of THREE MINISTERS on hand) that 'the executive and professional job vacancies register was privatised in 1984 and ... um ... ceased to exist,
    Minister, in 1988 ..... it used to cover the top end of the job market."

    When asked who he reported to and what he was going to do about this the office explained that he reported to David Blunkett not to Donald Dewar!

    The then Scottish Office Minister of Education and Sport (Brian Wilson) then arrived ...... the lift was out of action so he was a bit puffed from running up the stairs ... the official then explained this story
    to him and - prompted by punters queuing up for jobs - conceded that the situation was much better in Germany and The Netherlands where vacancy notification to the state employment service is compulsory ... 'sounds like a good idea to me' was Brian Wilson's comment as he ran away ....

    The Chancellor of The Exchequer (Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP) was 20 minutes late - he was rewriting his speech on the basis of a report in that morning's Guardian pointing out that as well as the 18-24 age group being targetted, older unemployed workers needed assistance too even back in 1998 ...... he then went straight in to do an interview in the Wellgate Job Centre with Hugh Pym (then with ITN) ..... explaining how
    they were going to end youth employment once and for all with windfall taxes on recently privatised power utilities - then tackle older workers ..... but he then gave us all a free hurl on his bus down to Discovery Point for the reception (from which the Chamber of Commerce had inadvertantly been excluded by the local enterprise agency and the plonkers from DfEE and HM Treasury in Whitehall who had invited Tesco but forgot about the major Dundee-headquartered Spar shop wholesaler who had local jobs to offer but was hopping mad at being excluded ......)

    A fiasco ...... where many of the problems might have been avoided if job search assistance was devolved to Scotland rather than being given to private contractors and run from London .....

    Ten years on: youth unemployment is back; the older workers are forgotten; private contractors have got filthy rich - as have the
    senior civil servants who got bonuses for sacking the junior civil servants and running down the Job Centres; The Black Watch poster
    is still on the notice board under the heading 'Jobs outside the
    Tayside Region' I guess - as it was in 1998; and at our National
    Conversation session with seven Scottish Government (SNP) Ministers in Dundee a couple of weeks back - where youth unemployment and new plans for apprenticeships were being flagged up by the SNP Education and Lifelong Learning Minister Fiona Hyslop MSP along with a call for further devolution of powers and great local co-ordination in this area - some of the younger generation in the audience were pointing out that it was also necessary to create jobs in this city for those graduates who were unemployed as well as boosting jobs eg in construction. The response from Scottish Ministers was positive - SNP Justice Secretary
    Kenny McAskill committed, for example, to creating traineeships for unemployed recently graduated lawyers in The Crown Office etc etc etc

    But what is Gordon Brown doing? Floundering and flannelling as usual!

  • Comment number 5.

    The Government should also perhaps think about bringing back the old Community Programme which was used for public works back in the 1980s.

    That helped, for example, revive the Unesco World Heritage site in New Lanark:

    Many of these World Heritage site managers still have 'shelf projects'
    they could quickly organise if they got the green light and the money.

    I say: roll out The Antonine Guard and rebuild the Antonine Wall with wooden stiles and gates for access ..... create jobs, bring tourists,
    upset golfers?!

  • Comment number 6.

    as a sixteen year old who was recently laid of for cheaper polish labour i think that the goverment should do more to help youths who are looking for jobs, i dont mean hand outs, what i mean is help for us to find jobs no matter how small and as british citizens we should take place over immigrant labour, to stop under 18's getting stabbed in the back.

    if your thinking that its fair for me to be sacked as we where more expensive i would like to say that, me and my friend were give the option to drop our wages we were just phoned to tell us not to turn up on saturday.

  • Comment number 7.

    I am 51 years of age. I used to run my own business. I can't get a job washing dishes where I live. The positions are taken up by hard working Polish or other European workers. The employers locally, say that 'The locals don't want the jobs', but I do. I am getting so desperate, that I am quite prepared to do anything to get a job, but I am lucky if I get an interview. Both my kids are working full-time, so it doesn't seem to have stopped them working 12 hour shifts in their respective jobs.

  • Comment number 8.


    you'll find that over 50 means scrapheap. sorry. even the job centres don't hassle the over 50s anymore.

  • Comment number 9.


    Have a look at how UK industry/manufacturing has changed in its contribution relative to Financial Services since 1980 and the [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]38x increase in the contribution of the latter, then look to see where the tax goes. Look into how financial services often amount to asset stripping and 'outsourcing' labour offshore whilst registering holdng companies in tax havens. Then look at who bails out these finacial services when their other sources of liquidity dry up because their securitization (spreading the pain) protection 'schemes' became unsustainable. Then look at mass immigration to fuel the domestic loans boom (I've linked to the ETS and Leitch reports many times to show what's happening in terms of demographics and human capital on both sides of the Atlantic - note that these are 'government' i.e. NGO data). One must not be nationalist or groupist or anything else, just monetarist it seems.

  • Comment number 10.

    the missing link (a link to a pdf by accident) is to the July Treasury Green Paper.

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm a recent graduate (aged 22, living in Glasgow). Of my graduate friends, only one has managed to find a job - everyone else is desperately looking for work which just isn't there.

    The jobcentre is only getting a few new jobs every week, there are stories going round about how McDonalds received 20,000 applications in less then a week, there isn't even bar work going just now, because all the people who would be taking up graduate jobs are staying in whatever they can get.

    We're all desperate, we're all depressed and we all want to work - but we can't.
    I'm not even a moaning student - I have worked as a bin man before now, and I'd happily take an unskilled labourer job if there was any.

    I'm considering emigrating just in the hope that there might be more job vacancies outside of the UK.

    The "Lost Generation" certainly is an idea I can identify with. Right now, it feels unlikely that I'll be able to find work this year. And the longer I'm unemployed, the harder it is going to be to get work, as more and more employers pass over the unemployed losers without second though.

  • Comment number 12.


    As a follow up, perhaps someone can help me out? I keep seeing this rather chubby man appearing on the BBC with the impressive title 'Former Director-General of the CBI'. How can there be a Director-General of something which by definition is a collective/lobby group for free-enterprises? Surely he should just be called Chief Spookesman for Anarchists International? Why does anyone expect such a Collection of Blitering Idiots to say anything more informative than, 'make the Public Sector pay more', 'minimize government', 'outsource labour costs to places where it's dirt cheap', and 'abolish taxes' etc etc? The BBC could just make it all up and have a CGI puppet like Max Headroom on the programme surely?

    PS. Are they just having us all on when they call these people 'Tsars'? Does New Labour put them up in Hotel Gulag?

  • Comment number 13.

    I feel very sorry for young people who can't find work. But why would an employer employ a young person from england with little qualification when they can imploy a graduate from abroad at the same price. There is not a level playing field anymore, it's all down to the cheapest labour. And now you can have quality as well as save money!

    When young people come from the eastern block they are coming from a much lower standard of living (supposedly) than us, and are prepared to do anything. Our young have been brought up with the attitude of the welfare state, they demand and expect to be given jobs and money and housing. The easterners have no expectation at all of anything, so have a completely different mind set to us. And don't even mention the people from the so called third world!

    I've probably just stated the obvious here, but what the heck.

    Another point, my sister was a graduate in the early eighties, couldn't get a job anywhere. And believe it or not Mrs Thatcher brought out a scheme to help young people into work. The government paid for my sister to work in a museum conservation department for six months, all young people were offered an option of working somewhere I believe. Thus began a very successful career, as she was offered a permanent position. Now why can't this government offer such a scheme, but then I'm not that well informed, and perhaps they have! ; )

  • Comment number 14.

    What continues to surprise us up here in Scotland that Labour Ministers at DWP in London seem quite prepared to privatise job search assistance but not devolve it to an SNP Government in Scotland. Yet one consequence of this seems to be that stories like this one in The Observer relating to leaflets allegedly promising £100 to punters who already had found jobs if they signed up and helped one private sector contractor meet their 'Pathways to Work' quota then appear in The Observer and alarm
    politicians? Devolution would allow closer scrutiny, improve welfare and employment policy coordination, and be more effective - but politically it seems not to be on Gordon Brown's radar even 20 years after Thatcher promised us 'Scottish solutions to Scottish problems' in this key area?

  • Comment number 15.

    12. JadedJean

    What's wrong with you?

    The chap you refer to knows how to run a business or two, because he's never actually run one.

    He's a jolly good talker, having persuaded the powers that be to make him a Knight Bachelor and a Life Peer.

    We need more people who talk endlessly while actually saying nothing. These are the sort of people who will "lead" us out of economic crisis. They are full of good intensions..........

  • Comment number 16.


    I'm an employer looking to take on two apprentices. Hve had only 9 applications in 4 weeks, and despite inviting all to interview, none have even turned up. Two at least had the decency to phone to cancel, but the other 7!

    Do some of these people want a job?

  • Comment number 17.

    At 21 years of age, I was among the youngest BA graduates with Autism in the UK, when I obtained my BA Hons Philosophy and Politics from the University of Essex in 2004. This was possibly my proudest achievement ever since I had been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 1997.
    However, everywhere that I sought work immediately afterwards was a complete waste of my time - hardly ANY employers out there were willing to offer me the work experience that I needed, since most of them only wanted experience I didn't have. I felt very much cheated by the system and the economy, only within those first few months. Looking back, I actually blame this a great deal on the introduction of Top-Up Fees into Higher Education, which has scared many employers from seeking academic achievement as a priority.
    My best friend, a student with severe physical disabilities, gave me a job as his care supervisor, but even a total experience of roughly 3 months working for him, before he tragically died in November 2004, was not enough to please most employers following my return home to many months of hardship, depression, and even greater stress and struggle trying to find so much as one interview. I waited considerable months just for a local college to interview me to work in their Learning Support department, but they too chose a candidate with more experience; this was heart-breaking and only followed by more drama in my life, including my father's sudden death in a road accent, only days after I turned 22. I am now 26, and most of the last 4 years I have been on Incapacity Benefit. I'm often not sure what is more humiliating for me - the fact that whenever I am asked "What do you do for work?" I usually have to just say i'm a 'volunteer' or a 'tarot reader' (of which I am indeed both - but it's hardly a living!) Or the fact that despite at least 6 employment organisations for under-25's having been willing to help me in and around the London Borough of Havering where I currently live, none of those that I have used has actually secured me a job.
    In the one year where I was made to go on Job Seeker's Allowance, I saw a Disability Employment Advisor all of 3 times, getting almost no help at all, and put under enough pressure by other JobCentre staff (who were clearly breaking their own rules!) to look for work, that I have been left traumatised, and will probably dread having any long period of signing on, ever again.

    I want to say here clearly, I am NOT a statistic! I am NOT too lazy to look for work! What I AM is a young man with a disability who has been given far too little support in finding work until now. What I AM is a person who is willing to give some of his time to volunteering in order to compliment his CV, which otherwise due to unscrupulous employers lacks any substantial work experience. What I AM is a qualified CCTV Operator, who has only had to put up with even more pit-falls until now, in simply trying to find the required means to gain employment.

    My family have even written to James Purnell when he was Work and Pensions Secretary. No real help was offered from his department. Perhaps my desire to do an 'honest job' was too much for his own power-tainted vision of the term to understand?

    I am a young, white British male, with a learning disability, and a 3rd class degree from a decent university. I am part of the 'lost generation', not because I've been unwilling to try, but because this government and the hordes of largely pointless organisations it has put in place to 'help' people like me, have not even tried to actually make it easier, for me to find even the most menial job.

    - Drew Miles

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm 24 and have just spent the past year studying a college course so I can go to uni in September. I tried in vain to get a part time job, but due to the hours of my course it proved impossible. Now I've finished for the summer, I've walked straight into a full-time temp job. I got it the same day I told them I was available for work. It seems that if youy are able to work full time, there are a whole host of temp vacancies out there.

  • Comment number 19.

    I own and run a small business. I have no problem at all with the minimum wage. But I do have a problem with many other aspects of employment legislation eg. right to flexible working, pension rights, excessive and unreasonable "due process" in case of disputes, maternity and paternity leave, to list a just a few difficulties. All these things may well be affordable by a multi-national industry. They may even sometimes be desirable as a means of coercing an otherwise implacable money-making machine into behaving decently towards its workforce. Yet they utterly fail to address the energy and leadership and commitment which small business owners inject into the enterprises which they create. A specific example: it would take between 3 and 7 years on-the-job training to train a young person to undertake the kind of work in which we specialize. Say we make this commitment. What security is offered to us, the employers and trainers, in return? Nothing at all. We are ensnared by bureaucracy. We are ensnared by rules which are often created with little understanding of how to run a successful business - ensnared by rules part of whose function is to keep government bureaucrats in employment. It is this Government, not the recession, which all but makes it impossible for businesses - small business in particular - to employ young people.

  • Comment number 20.

    The world is a competitive place, and so is the domestic job market.
    There is no such thing as a safe job for life and there is no guarantee of employment for anyone. There is no such thing as a graduate grade job; if everyone's a graduate then there is no competitive advantage to having a degree.

    Britain is losing its competitive advantage in the world market, as we have relatively little export potential, having relied too heavily on financial services since 2001. Therefore, we can only expect to see permanently high levels of unemployment in the future (UK unemployment was 1.5m in the boom years; so my feeling is it will climb over 3m in the coming few years, and will never fall below 2.25m in the future). Also, earnings for British workers will fall, as more will find themselves on short time working or temporary contracts. Therefore, many people will be like actors, "resting" between periods of employment.

    Britain used to be a ship building nation. Now the vast majority of ships are built in Korea and Japan.

    Britain used to have a civil aviation industry. Now the choice is between the USA's Boeing and France's Airbus.

    Britain used to be a car manufacturer - remember Austin, Morris, Hillman, Rover, Triumph, Wolseley, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Alvis, Bristol, Jaguar......? Now we make cars for foreign owners who take the profits back abroad. We have employment but not the benefits of control and ownership.

    Britain used to have an energy industry. We had the world's first nuclear power station back in the mid-1950s. Now many of our energy and utilities companies are owned by Europeans.

    British farmers struggle to make a living.

    Britain used to have a textiles industry; it was major employer during the industrial revolution. All the mills are closed down and Fred Dibnah pulled down the last chimney before he too sadly departed.

    Steel manufacturing was important to Britain, but is now Indian owned.

    We're good at computer software, but nothing that can't be done in India or China.

    etc, etc, etc, etc......

    So what is Britain's role in the world - cooking, making television programmes, acting, special effects for foreign film studios, hairdressing, house building, architectual design, pop music, one huge hedge fund speculating on the price of the rest of the world's productive output?
    None of which will provide full employment for Britain's workers.....

    The government has let the economy run away, completely out of control. Our foreign competitors won't easily allow us to get back in the game. And we are over reliant on friendly foreign investment.

  • Comment number 21.

    Not sure we should automatically turn to the Government if we believe in a free enterprise system.
    However, corporations need to tune into the situation, get creative and take on more interns for free or nominal remuneration. Everybody wins but especially the youth who now have more real world work experience and maybe even a job offer.

  • Comment number 22.

    I work for a national employment charity working with marginalised young people aged 16-24.The young people who come to us are already seriously disadvantaged,with multiple and complex problems, not least numerously and literacy issues. They are already at the bottom of the pecking order for work or training or apprenticeships and the current situation is reduces still further their chances of moving forward with their lives.

  • Comment number 23.


  • Comment number 24.

    Above have said it all. It's depressing and politicians have no answers at all although they pretend they do.
    I read Today that we are going to build more wind farms BUT they will be made abroad. A Major water pipe line going through Lancashire and Merseyside but the pipes are made in Slovakia and "coated" in Holland.

    This Government, and previous ones, has flogged off most of our industry to Japan, China and India plus a plethora of European countries.
    Getting a degree is a waste of money and yet another Government ploy to keep the unemployment numbers down for at least 4-5 years, then they emerge with no job to find and a massive debt to pay off-some hope!!!
    I tell young people today to go out nad find work as soon as you leave school, but even as many have written above, it is virtually impossible unless you are prepared to work for less than minimum wage, have no contract of employment and can be fired at a whim.

    We will get some talking heads on Newsnight garbling nothing of use and talking in generalities, as Neil wrote above. I feel I will be on suicide watch after the programme and I feel sorry for young people out of work and angry. BUT THERE I GO AS BAD AS THE POLITICIANS, CROCODILE TEARS AND HAND WRINGING WITH NO SOLUTIONS. SORRY? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN OR DO TO GET PEOPLE IN WORK?
    I should not sign myself "angry" but "flipping angry"!! the moderator preventS me using a more expletive word!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    Firstly I read with horror of the experiences of Drew Miles. It seems to me that by not segregating Special needs from an early age right through to university entrance, this section of the 'lost generation' are to be treated as lepers. This immoral behaviour needs to be addressed now.
    My own experience is one of working with unemployed youths on New deal, which, as your other correspondents mention is mixed to say the least. Most have no hope as jobs have dried up even in the so-called booming South-East. School-leavers are finding life difficult so are encouraged in to long-term debt by taking up a shrinking number of useless degree courses only to be rewarded by jobs at ASDA or Tesco. We need more training places in industry and commerce, bring the training boards back like the 70s for all industries where growth can happen cheaply: Leisure, Hotels,light engineering and tourism. Bring back executive search within Job Centres instead of farming it out to private/charitable penny pinchers. Same with LTE for over 50s.. even 50 + has become a joke. LIE on your CV most do, and get away with an interview after which the employer cannot refuse on age reasons as it is supposedly illegal. It is about time British jobs for British people was enacted.. why not give an employer a subsidy of £2000 for the first year on Employers contributions, for taking on an unemployed 21-26 year old for their first real job.Either graduate or not. Surely this would help to relieve this awful scourge affecting Britain.
    Also i think the minimum wage ought to rise dependant upon local cost of living so the MW in London ought to be maybe 20% higher than in Dundee.
    In Brighton the minimum wage would not even feed a single person in a shared flat.This one size fits all is new Labour Gobledeegook.

  • Comment number 26.

    My son left boarding school at the age of eighteen on July 02 this year after nine years. His academic quals consisted of eight GCSEs. Three A's, three B's and two C's. He is awaiting the results of his A levels. He had two interviews. Got recommended in the first and employed in the second. There are opportunities out there. Maybe he was in the right place at the right time but nevertherless he starts his new job the first week in August 2009, just thirtyone days after leaving school !!!

  • Comment number 27.

    One further comment on Stephen Byrnes piece.. if you agree with my assertation about bringing back national training boards, do you think if the next government gave industry or small businesses in your industry, a huge grant to train and keep a young recruit would it make you more likely to do that providing the recruit agreed to stay in the job for say 10 years, rather like our over-educated nurses and dentists ought to do if they were trained FOC by the higher education they need.

  • Comment number 28.

    I hope in answer to david250469, (1) I don't know enough about national training boards to agree or disagree with him here, and (2) concerning me, personally, and regarding the way I run my business, I am clear that the availability of grants, huge or otherwise, does not and will not positively influence my decision to employ someone in any age group. Specifically, I believe it would be simpler and more cost-effective to simplify the tax and NIC system, for example, and to remove some other regulatory burdens - and I don't mean "reintroduce a hire-and-fire culture": I accept that all employees require protection in a great many circumstances - rather than to persist with these burdens whilst offering what is in effect a cash-back inducement that would itself be subject to further regulation and checks against fraud etc..

  • Comment number 29.

    I did everything the government says it wants young people to do. I stayed in school until 18. I went to Uni. I only applied for the non-means tested loan because my parents could afford to help me and my sister through our degrees. I worked a weekend job all the way through and took as many extra shifts as I could to help earn more. I saved my inheritence from my grandfather.

    When I came out of Uni and had difficulty getting a job, what help did the government give me?


    I hadn't paid enough NI to qualify for contribution-based jobseekers (though if I had been at an FE college, it would have been paid for me). And I didn't qualify for hardship because of the inheritance that was intended to help me put down a deposit on a house and pay off my student loan. All in the name of keeping down the numbers claiming jobseekers.

    I attended the Jobcentre every fortnight and showed them the work I was putting in to find a job. They did nothing for me. They didn't offer to help improve my CV. They didn't offer any training to help me find a job. The onus was all on me to do something about my unemployment. All I was, was a statistic to be filed away and got over with every fortnight.

    And everywhere I applied said I was qualified enough, but didn't have the experience. How can you get the experience unless someone gives you a chance?

    In the end, it wasn't my degree or help from the government that got me a job. It was the daughter of a friend of my mother. She got me into a temporary job, which put me in place to get a permanent job this spring. It's not what you know...

  • Comment number 30.

    As per what was said about youth unemployment (17-24). I would say that it is the older generation (35+), who are suffering the most: because it is this generation, who are likely to have the skills and experience, to get this economy moving. I should know, because I have been unemployed for over 10 years, but have been trying hard in my job searching, plus doing whatever training that I think that I might need - to provide me with the necessary skills and experience, to get me back into work. But I always seem to keep getting "your skills and qualifications are great, but it is your lack of recent employment experience, which is letting you down," chucked back in my face, and have done, for quite a while.

    Also, with the unemployed youth, they are unlikely to be paid as much as someone with the relevant skills and experience, like myself.

    So we are suffering just as much, if not more so, than the youths - because, as you get older; it gets even more tougher to find work.

  • Comment number 31.

    My son has just finished his third and final year Mental Health nursing degree course. Cannot find a nursing job aged 24 he was persuaded to study to better himself but every post requires previous experience. Most vacancies are being filled by overseas trained applicants with experience has does he start. Help

  • Comment number 32.

    30 years ago 5% of the student cohort went to university. Today it's nearer 50%. How is that possible? Intelligence has not increased and as it's almost all genetic the expansion of higher education made no sense at all except as a means of mllking people for loans, selling books, renting property etc and keeping unemployment and crime figures down, oh, and delaying mothering (reducing the TFR) in brighter females.

  • Comment number 33.

    YES unemployment is a major social problem we are growing generations that have not had the benefits of regular income, and yet we keep letting in millions of people from other countrys, does it make sense unless there is another agenda, if you read the blogs below you will see that there is a whole viewpoint that is never seen on tv discussions , the bbc and itv have a pc im ok jack middle class london cafe type attitude totally contrary to what most working class people think, but you dont think or speak for me/us PLEASE LISTEN .

  • Comment number 34.

    The government deem themselves only answerable to the Banking Regime that controls them, and the legacy that young people and the rest of us are left with, arises almost exclusively out of this total dysfunctionality of those in "authority" and those in power who are abusing those powers.

    We need to deal with the SOURCE of the Problem, namely 'credit' and an unworkable and fraudulent Monetary System, issuing money as debt and creating a squeeze on jobs, homes, savings etc: If our top politicians were sent on a course of Advanced Economics, they would be EFFECTIVE in overhauling the whole System which has been killing off entrepreneurs, crushing individuality and spontaneity in business and on a personal level, and replacing it with useless government quangos that are incompetent and ineffectual, and a huge drain on Public spending and taxpayers money.

    The young are left with a terrible example from the Baby boomers generation and beyond, who are sending them all the wrong messages and failing to value them and to recognise that these youngsters are our future. The young need to be nurtured, and the money wasted in running government quangos should be channelled into sponsorship programs to encourage entrepreneurs and talented teenagers to launch their Vision in the commercial world, with a little help and well-spent funding to support them in the initial stages of their project. More ACCOUNTABILITY, leading by example, and a huge CLEAN UP is urgently needed in our Government. With Systemic fraud in our country being preserved in tact, being run by a corrupt and unaccountable / untouchable Judicia and no-touch regulation which acts only as a Watchdog for the banksters, what hope do the youngsters have of thriving in an environment and culture so drained of integrity as this ?

    If we had anything approaching democracy in the UK, then there would be more cause for optimism. But the voice of the majority of citizens is being suppressed, and Her Majesty's subjects are oppressed by the dark forces that lurk within Government, and their abject failings to get back to the basics and grass roots. We are not fooled. There is no meaningful investigation of Fraud and white collar crime in the UK, the SFO are a Public liability and have no staff of any calibre worth their salt working there, and the FSA are a disaster because they are funded and controlled by the banks ! With the 'Ruling Elite' especially the legal sector, charging some 70 times the average wage in Britain, what self-respecting teenager would even WANT to compete with such inequitable and unfair forces on this unequal playing field ? They may as well pack up and go on the dole. Inspiration, Vision, accountability, self-government and integrity is what is urgently called for, to begin the redressing and restoration of the long lost balance.

  • Comment number 35.

    We have not served our young people well - many are not adequately equipped for employment; fewer are able (or want) to make their own way in our increasingly global and competitive economy.
    Where are the entrepreneurs of tomorrow (other than in China, India or the US)? Why do our banks attract Government bail-outs (especially when the banks then don't support businesses and start-ups!) while Young Enterprise and similar schemes have had their public funding steadily eroded since well before the recession?
    Education itself seems to squash the creativity out of our young people - I recall the successful Yo! Sushi entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe telling a business audience how he "went wrong" at the age of 13 or 14. Typical boy? That's the very age when we should be encouraging enterprise, flair and creativity - instead we constrain many talented and entrepreneurial young people within an education system to which they're unsuited.
    Ideally we should pause education for one year (even in a recession) to use Year 10 (age 14/15) as a community service year in which to get a better understanding of the wider world of employment - through paid work or volunteering. Look on it as bringing the gap year forward! Young people could then either return, better informed, to complete studies in new Years 11-14 or - for those who simply don't fit education at present (or vice versa) - remain in work to develop and learn in their own time without becoming disaffected and smashing up society.
    One of the most entrepreneurial youngsters I recall was at a Young Enterprise workshop where he emerged as a natural leader and born salesman - yet he had severe learning difficulties and his school effectively had nothing else to offer. If he has managed to avoid an ASBO he is fortunate. We need to develop people like that - and the recession actually provides opportunity . . . !

  • Comment number 36.


    Probably the 2nd best thing that could have happened to young people is the recession and the advantages 'un' employment brings. It gets them out of the machine and into a position of objectivity.

    The most important thing for young people is it stops them contributing to their own demise. Many jobs do nothing. They just gobble up resources, create pollution and are an exercise in putting bums on seats for the numbers game and some contribution to the tax man that somewhere will involve a law of diminishing (negative) returns.

    The planet's ecological life support systems are pretty close to catastrophic collapse. Which unfortunately will result in the death of many if not all of the young people we are discussing. I would suggest our first priority is keeping them alive. That may come under some legal term such as 'duty of care'.

    By keeping them out of contributing to the consuming machine which is eating our planet, the recession is doing them a favour. It gives us all a breathing space, albeit short, to try and save all our lives. Recession and 'un' employment is good for us all. Rejoice in the opportunity it has provided.

    Next the time gives them the aforementioned objectivity. A time to assess, analysis and to question. What is this all about? Something very little taught in school. It gives then time to talk to people in the street. Chat to older members of the community. Without money perhaps realise sunsets are free, watching a butterfly is cheap.

    Instead of having money to go and watch a Star Trek film. They might get a grip of the reality. They are on a spaceship. It might be more than 7,000 miles across, but it is only the top few feet of the surface which keeps them and everything else alive.

    They are spacecraft engineers. They must maintain the life support systems. Slowly with time and help they might realise what Governments, the mainstream media and the rest of the establishment spews out, is rubbish. It is only one very small belief system in the multi dimensions of available reality. And there are other options which might be better, better for them to understand and guide their life by.

    There is eternity and infinity for them to explore, and not just the narrow perception heaped on them, conditioning them to believe that it is the truth and only truth.

    Then with evolving wisdom they might start living and creating the viable alternative. Life, love, compassion, consideration, care, community-local and global. And in living with a tangible purpose, not some tat such as contributing to increasing and higher levels of economic growth. They might be happier.

    Lost generation? Let us not forget that lost is a relative term. Lost is a prerequisite of exploring a new place and a new way you didn't know existed before. That to me is exciting and stimulating.

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be
    The pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see . . .
    That 'recession' is painless it brings on many changes
    And I can take or leave it if I please
    --Michael Altman

    I have changed one word for poetic effect.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 37.

    My almost 17 year old daughter has just finished college and is looking for full time employment. She has done part time work during her time at college, but can she find a full time job, no. In our area most of what would be ex student jobs are filled by overseas workers. The students finishing college and school this summer are really struggling to find jobs. As my daughter is only 17 she can get no help and yet we see, even in our small town a good many people living of the state (some for several years) and making no efforts at all to gain employment. We have been to several job agencies and she has applied for many jobs as well as handing in her CV at as many of the local shops as she can.
    My husband has been made redundant so we are not in a financial position to kepp having to pay for bus/train fares etc. To make matters worse we can get no help either because of his redundancy pay, which we have put to one side to keep the mortgage and bills paid for the next few months. My daughter is becoming increasingly frustrated as she wants to work. It seems to be a case of being in the right place at the right time for the 16 plus group rather than those actively seeking employment actually finding it.

  • Comment number 38.

    "Also i think the minimum wage ought to rise dependant upon local cost of living so the MW in London ought to be maybe 20% higher than in Dundee." Thanks a bundle #25 ..... Dundonians have to eat as well!!

    I have a much better idea: Dundee is only a 75 minute commute from London City Airport into our own airstrip at Dundee Riverside, and
    property and workshop space is relatively cheap ......

    Turn the map on your wall upside down like Tony Benn and come and join us in an independent Scotland firmly entrenched within a European Union.

  • Comment number 39.

    I am absolutely horrified at the racist, accusatory tone of most of these posts. I appreciate that government policy sometimes has the unwanted side-effect of infantilising citizens, but the 'I did everything the government wanted me to and they won't pay my rent blub blub blub' attitude is insulting to everyone involved. We need to redefine what 'gainful employment' means in a sustainable and inclusive society, for a start, but also encourage people to try new things, volunteer, get involved in their communities, and make sure that they aren't penalised financially because of it.

    I graduated at the age of 21 from a little-known rural Welsh university in 2006. I applied for a few jobs in the back of a local paper, landed one, and learnt the skills required to work in an industry. Since then, I've volunteered, had positions in the civil service, had time to pursue an Open University Masters degree, and I'm just about to start training to be a teacher in Edinburgh. Using my initiative, wanting to get involved, maintaining a positive attitude. None of this is rocket science... I am a state-educated, lower middle class white boy, but I'm not sure those factors worked for or against me in any real sense. 'Helping yourself' and being self-reliant is important, but it needs to be in the context of what you can do to help others, as well as yourself - that's the most rewarding way to spend your time, in my experience.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    Solving the failings of the Education system would help!

    It is not entirely wrong to consider that, recessions aside, some long term unemployment starts at birth and continues unchanged until perhaps - some form of - positive interference occurs.

    Where that intervention usually starts is in the education system. Unfortunately, if you have been on the inside of that system, it is not hard to realise that there is where - increasingly - more unemployment statistics are created.

    Whilst the teaching profession will of course actively deny it academic standards are dropping, examinations are being dumbed down and pass rates are being manipulated to fit in with the necessary small percentage increases that the media loves to report. Sadly the impotence and fraud that Ofsted operates under and cooperates with just perpetuates the decline. There is no point whatsoever in planning for fifty per cent going to HE if the outcome is McJobs for graduates or valid jobs without a career path and on low wages.

    Working in a troubled school immediately allows you to identify those yooves that are on the slippery slope ending up as unemployment stats.

    The Government needs to totally reassess the value and effect of the curriculum as it relates to modern needs. If people do not have the skills for work they are by nature unemployable. It could be argued that more, perhaps total, emphasis needs to be given to core subjects until Year Nine then the speciality and vocational subjects could take priority.

    NEETs - and increasingly also those in Education Employment and Training - are a failing resource that are destined to cost far more to society in the long term unless some positive course of action is taken at the earliest possible stage. Most of the palliative stroke placebo training course currently on offer are little more than manipulation of statistics relating to a group of people increasingly becoming disillusioned, despondent and worst of all demoralised.

    And that will only lead to serious social problems.

  • Comment number 42.

    What a sad reflection on Society today,I as a Parish Councillor (unpaid) but with a working party also unpaid, each year organise a large community event,does anyone out there realise what farcicial rules are placed on us especially as far as youth helping us are concerned,the rules, not always legal, but "jobs worthy"stop youngsters assisting us our Youth co-ordinator can and does get these youngsters qualifications working towards employment,what stops her from doing more? funding,we as a Parish can only do so much,why are the very people we elect not looking at the grass roots of local problems,it is no good funding main councils if it does not eke through to Parishes,Parish Council are after all always being told,we are the first step to Government,yes ok but on whose terms,we can get youngster employment,so it would seem to me,stop worrying about un-employment for the youth direct monies from Government sources to Parish Council,cutting out the middleman,immediate saving and all could see how we do it.

  • Comment number 43.

    Am so sorry i mentioned Dundee - it was not intentional...was merely making a point that the housing crisis in the south is so severe, people cant afford to work in menial jobs. Which is why so many young people have no desire to work full time.
    Obviously am minimum wage of £7.50 per hour in Dundee topped up by 10% in large cities and 20% in London would cause small business a lot of harm but then if foreign labour is prepared to do menial jobs for say £4 an hour off the books... then what? we need a new system and we need some order in the jobs market. No papers no job, no minimum wage paid - you get shut down or fined. why is this country so slow to do anything correctly. Even the new nuclear reactors are 10 years overdue.

  • Comment number 44.

    "Since then, I've volunteered, had positions in the civil service, had time to pursue an Open University Masters degree, and I'm just about to start training to be a teacher in Edinburgh" #39 steps to freedom in Scotland - boosting invisible Scottish exports to Wales and taking a statistic off the Welsh unemployment total ...... this is excellent!

    I just hope we have a teaching for you when you graduate and have registered with the General Teaching Council in Scotland ........

    The most recent crop of teaching graduates up here complain that jobs are pretty scarce - and supply vacancies in Edinburgh are gold dust -
    but if the SNP Government can talk HM Treasury out of further cuts in the block grant increase due to kick in from next year there is hope -
    even for boys from the Welsh Valleys ......

  • Comment number 45.

    #43 Poverty in London is a huge issue David #43 - as is the cost of the housing I'm sure. Even MPs struggle I hear now that Labour has forgotten about Peabody and social housing ...... And I am delighted you mentioned Dundee: I really do mean what I say ... move and discover Britain's only
    south-facing city! Either fly into Riverside in 75 minutes from London City (quick but relatively costly - four times a day!)or take the bus
    through the grot of the East End out to Gatwick and bag a cheap flight
    to Edinburgh then take a bus for £1 up to Tayside ........ Berries are ripening as we speak and quite a lot of the Poles have alas gone home.

  • Comment number 46.

    Labour Employment Minister found wanting yet again. This Labour Govt, as a guest said, "love making announcements" but the gritty truth is, Labour deliver zero.

    And the Labour Minister was accused once again of pouring money into training quangos and training companies that deliver nothing. The guest wisely suggested either funding small businesses with the money directly or expert guest suggested cutting taxes on business.

    Once again the guests accused Labour of having no coherent plan, just loads of waffle, red tape and beauracy.

    This Labour Govt is siphoning £billions of taxpayers money into vacuous corrupt quangos. They are a socialist-spiv disgrace and should not only be booted out of Govt, but kicked straight into jails. The public sector is a corrupt shambles. The private sector has had enough of the inept obese public sector pointing the finger at them to do better or pay more tax. We need a new Govt and a new system of Govt. Westminster has fialed this country miserably and this socialist cabal of zaNu Labour even more so. They're crimimals

  • Comment number 47.

    I can echo the experience of the Graduate on the programme.

    As someone with a PhD the impression I got of JobCentre+ is that it is about constructing a box that represents an "average" person (who probably doesn't exist in reality) and attempting to push everyone into that box.

    I really was left feeling that the JobCentre hampered my efforts to get a job. This hampering and attempting to push me into a box that I didn't fit into started on day one and did not finish until the day I signed off.

    My "Job Seekers agreement" was a joke. I have a background in Academic Research and Computer Science. I was told that I could not put Software Engineering roles on the agreement because no so such jobs existed in the area on which I signed on. DESPITE me clearly stating I was prepared (and indeed expected) to relocate elsewhere in the country. I was told that I could not put Academic Research on the Agreement as that was "A career and not a job". I could understand a 16 year old school leaver being told this, however, as someone with a background in this area I would have thought I stood a higher chance with these than the low skilled roles that I was way over-qualified for, and the JobCentre advisors were pushing me to apply for.

    I did eventually get a suitable job, but with zero thanks to the JobCentre.

  • Comment number 48.

    Okay for a start why did your outlet tonight not have a Consersvate live tonight after record massive socialist unemployment

    This was a very bad day for our country with unemployment and it will i believe double within the next 3 years

    That is as bad the damage labour have caused to our country i believe

    Around 5 million out of work within 3 years

    5 thousand jobs going every working day, and thats a fact

    Why did Newsnight not highlight this fact???

    I bet if we had a Conservative government in they would have

  • Comment number 49.

    I run a growing small business and desperately need to take on a member of staff. However with a new business you are never quite sure whether you can manage the extra overhead and if you couldn't whether you could lay somebody off. guarentees from the Government and a relaxtion of the employment red tape would definately make a difference

  • Comment number 50.

    No wonder DWP's Secretary of State Yvette Cooper MP chickened out of the challenge of facing Britain's young unemployed in the Newsnight studio!!

    Jim Knight her Deputy suggested that she had told him to tell them that even she had to wait six months after graduation to get her first post?

    That was I guess as a political researcher with my old friend John Smith:

    She later went on to work for Harriet Harman MP after Smith became the Leader of The Labour Party before leaving to work for 'The Independent'.

    When that post with The Labour Party in Walworth Road was advertised, I
    was actually one of those short-listed for a 30 min interview in London.

    At the time I was unemployed in The Netherlands - where the social welfare system had just been privatised so my buroo cheque for that
    month had not arrived causing a bit of financial embarrassment ....

    I therefore rang up the Labour Party in London to check that they would be paying travel expenses promptly if I used the rent money I had put aside to pay for the ferry and train ride across The English Channel?

    'Oh ..... we had assumed that because you were based in Europe you'd be able to pay for this yourself' was the Labour Party response. 'How much will your expenses be?' 'Probably about seventy pounds' was my answer -
    to which the Labour Party official replied : 'So - roughly about the same amount it would have cost to bring you down from Scotland? OK - I
    will go and ask". She came back and said: 'Sorry - but we cannot promise to meet that ....." I then said: 'I will also need to pay for a B&B out of my own resources too ..... can you at least suggest a cheap place to stay near Walworth Road?' - to which the reply was 'Sorry. Do you not have friends you could stay with in London?'

    I then spoke to friends who told me I was mad - 'How are you going to be able to surive on a nurse's salary in London, Neil? Get real!' I decided
    to e-mail them and tell them that I was sorry I would not be able to take up their kind offer of an interview - and spent the half-hour I
    was supposed to be spending with Harriet Harman smoking a joint on a
    beach in Holland ........ dreaming of work with Clare Short ........

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    I also noticed the Minister Jim Knight MP nodding vigorously when one of the - extremely well-qualified - guests mentioned 'unpaid internships'!

    Internships are a great idea - but employers should pay the rate for the job! When I was a Summer Intern in Washington DC I was paid handsomely!

    But then that was The International Monetary Fund not the BBC .........

  • Comment number 53.

    How can you have a debate on unemployment and not have anyone from the small business sector take part?
    They are the people that will eventually create the jobs.
    I suggest that when you invite guests you consider a representative from The Federation of Small Businesses.

  • Comment number 54.

    Shucks ........ if only my internship had been with MFI not IMF ...!!

  • Comment number 55.

    #50 Neil

    Just checked back and my comment #3 above has been removed. No notification from BBC yet.

    This concerned the loss of revenue from the decision by the Government to not use the Dome as a global environmental management centre. This has resulted in a loss to the UK economy of £400 billion so far, which would have provided all the employment required to have avoided this youth unemployment.

    In 2007 I received a letter from YC confirming that she knew of the project etc. But that the decision and process was assessed by the National Audit Office.

    £400 billion lost to the UK economy and YC just abdicates the responsibility to the NAO.

    I broke the original proposal down and you read the part which lead to the agenda of the 2005 G8 being climate change and Africa.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 56.

    I am an employer

    I just hired a student today. He worked for us last summer. bright hard working Cambridge Uni English student. £10 an hour. He called me out-of-the-blue and as it happened we need help. We had tried the job centre recently for an engineer but they were hopeless. We used a recruitment agency instead. We are advertising on Monster now for a sales Manager, modest cost, got 13 replies, 1 good candidate.

    I would like the govt to put the job centre on line, we want to hire a school leaver in September. We are so stressed trying to keep up with work we don't have time to search for candidates. We would have 3 interns tomorrow if we knew where to look.

    Busy ones are too busy to look. Just give us a web address to search on and make it easy.There may be 500 teenagers in our town wanting work but other than the Job Centre we don't know where to look.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 57.

    The problem with such jobs announcements is however that The Devil is so often in the detail ...... notice how Asda still haven't got planning permission for their '480 jobs in Dundee':

    "Asda is set to create 480 new jobs in Dundee by opening its third store there. Around 70% of these jobs will be full time. The store is costing £24 million to build and will employ 250 construction workers in the process.

    The store will have a petrol station, 600 car parking spaces and a recycling facility. Plans for the store are going on show at a local community centre before they are submitted to the local council.

    Asda are also soon to create 180 jobs in Derbyshire by opening a new store there. "

    Their plan for Dundee also involves - as I recall - a development that will take place in the vicinity of the NCR plant that has just ended manufacturing of cash-point facilities in this city which invented
    that technology (now heading for Eastern Europe) .................

    And as well as being the third Asda in Dundee, we also have Sainsbury and at least three giant Tesco stores in the same catchment area - but
    these days no William Low (Dundee HQ-ed supermarket chain that was taken over by Morrison's who have also built a superstory in the vicinity) ...

    C&J Lyell (the Spar shop wholesale supplier excluded from the New Deal launch) continues as well to maintain a Headquarters here in Dundee but
    surely there are ultimately limits to how much shopping people can do??

  • Comment number 58.

  • Comment number 59.

    Busy ones are too busy to look. Just give us a web address to search on and make it easy.There may be 500 teenagers in our town wanting work but other than the Job Centre we don't know where to look."

    Great idea ..... if I want to find a second-hand book these days I go onto one of three sites worldwide: Abebooks; Amazon; or Alibris - but
    if you are either seeking work or seeking recruits where do you start?

    This is not rocket science - so why is Yvette Cooper not sorting this?
    Presumably because there are some very powerful vested interests who're
    making lots of money out of market failure ....... ??????????????????!!

  • Comment number 60.

    Another NATIONAL SCANDAL is the decline of job advertising in the small announcements sections of national, regional and local newspapers. This
    is killing journalism as well as leading to labour market inefficiencies.

    To take just one high profile example: The University of Edinburgh has never in recent memory advertised any of its academic posts in Scottish
    quality newspapers. That is a national scandal - as well as very silly!

  • Comment number 61.

    As for civil service recruitment in Scotland, sadly this is still under Whitehall control. The last general recruitment exercise for middle-level Scottish Government civil servants was just before the Holyrood election which returned an SNP Government. That was handled, however,
    by London-based private sector recruitment agents not even by the UK
    Civil Service Commission ie people who had probably never even set foot in this country yet were pre-vetting all applications and sending scores up to Edinburgh for the second-round interviews which were gibberish ...

    Not that I am suggesting for one moment that there was a wee Whitehall conspiracy going on here to prevent well-qualified Polish Scots or even
    home-grown Scots competing on a level-playing field with the English or
    stopping Alex Salmond and his colleagues appointing the best people ...

  • Comment number 62.

    #17 wrote:

    "My family have even written to James Purnell when he was Work and Pensions Secretary. No real help was offered from his department. Perhaps my desire to do an 'honest job' was too much for his own power-tainted vision of the term to understand?"

    Purnell never condescended to answer any of my letters either. But interestingly I did get a very courteous reply from Her Majesty The
    Queen's principal correspondence secretary when I wrote to her! The
    letter mentioned that as she was only a 'constitutional monarch' all
    she could do about my question was pass it on to her then Secretary
    of State at DWP Rt Hon James Purnell MP! But it seems that even that
    level of intervention cuts no ice these days with Labour Ministers -
    too busy plotting I guess to draft any sort of reply before he went!

    I think we need a General Election.

  • Comment number 63.

    #58 The Seer of Blairgowrie never ceases to amaze .... fascinating stuff on that rejected Downing Street petition ...... where was Mandelson when
    he was really needed!

    Google also throws up this:

    And this:

  • Comment number 64. It is so frustrating when a good project idea is ripped off and screwed up - is it not? But hey!

    Truth will triumph in the end .......

  • Comment number 65.

    #63 64 Neil

    Google also throws up these:

    Coincidently the marketing concept for one shortlisted project, which should have won on the competition criteria, but was never covered by the press. Is the same as the one as the on which won. Isn't that iconic, I mean ironic.

    not to worry it has only cost £400 billion-so far

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 66.

    "Floods Bring More Pain to Milnathort" - in July 2009 ......... QED?!

    NB Milnathort has however still got the best ice-cream shop in Britain
    (it's called Ciacopazzi? - and I still remember it from the late '50's).

  • Comment number 67.

    #66 Neil

    I know. I told the in 2001 Government in the Dome proposal when the flooding would occur and how to prevent it.

    As nothing was done I told Tayside police in October 2006, a community councillor went with me. I had a date of 9th December. They took 6 weeks to decide that they would do nothing. The letter was posted on the 12 and got to me on the 14th December. The Tay flooded on the 13th. I was 4 days out over 15 years when I first produced the UK flood models.

    Of course then the flooding continued into 2007 across the rest of the UK. £5 bn and 13 dead.

    Even though it is all documented The Courier is not interested.

    The technology I have invented is worth about $13 trillion a year globally and I can't even give it away.

  • Comment number 68.

    #17 Drew is probably right that there is at least some dosh in reading Tarot cards - though not perhaps enough to live on; but would it not be of more use if someone reading this website gave that man a scholarship
    to divine the impact of climate change on local communities in the UK??

    How about it Bracknell?! Sounds like he has some of the skills and focus?

    But as with all young people: important to ask HIM first what he wants!!
    Perhaps Jim Knight MP could have a word with Yvette Cooper and the DWP.

  • Comment number 69.

    If you apply for a position/job where you are highly qualified,loads of experience,and over 40 be very very careful that the job just matches those attributes. If you are too smart you will not be considered - period.

    Immgrants get jobs because they don't argue,struggle with the language and will work whatever hours they are asked. In other words they don't present a challenge to either the managers or their peers.

    If you really need a job don't declare all your qualifications or experience to impress unless you really think the competition or the job demands it.

    This hypothesis is based on pure experience and common sense.

  • Comment number 70.

    During the mid sixties Saint Harold Wilson during the White Heat of the Technological Revolution encouraged employers to take on apprentices, all those extra apprentices (me included) received on-the-job training and college qualifications. I have never been out of work because I have technical qualifications that are still valuable. Therefore since the large engineering/ electronic organisations no longer exist I suggest that we should have money diverted from the elitist university subjects, you know the ones(classical greek etc.) to the FE colleges who do a fantastic job. The recession will end and when it does we need skilled workers available. Otherwise these workers will come in from the EU to fill the vacancies and another generation are lost to the higher pay and status that skilled work provides.

  • Comment number 71.

    #69 neatly summarises what is wrong with Britain ....... In Canada what
    is called 'the challenge function' is a valued attribute in workplaces;
    in Britain these days those who ask 'daft laddy' questions in committee
    (as non-execs, execs or public-spirited volunteers) can get frozen out
    as subversive trouble-makers. Britain needs more Paxmans who can spell.

  • Comment number 72.

    The rate of unemployment caused by the recession is alarming. I am a Cameroonian and the level of youth unemployment has been increasing even before the out break of the recession.
    The problem with Cameroon is that we have the potentials of developing. But like any other African state we cannot because of leadership. We do not have good leaders. We seek funds obroad to develop our coutry while the high ranking officials embezzle money and keep in foriegn banks.
    World powers make noise on fighting curuption but they condone with our leaders who develop their own economies.
    Why can they not question African leaders or Cameroonians.
    This problem of unemployment will reign over the world because more youths from Cameroon will migrate towards the North. It is better our leaders start being human than egoistic.

  • Comment number 73.

    "Therefore since the large engineering/ electronic organisations no longer exist I suggest that we should have money diverted from the elitist university subjects, you know the ones(classical greek etc.) to the FE colleges who do a fantastic job."

    .....mmmmmmmm ..... but Classical Greek has been under siege since
    Archie Medes built that engine in Syracuse .... show this engineer
    your beehive, Martha Carney and any other Classicists on Newsnight
    who have recently been stung by the daily fees charged by engineers
    for reinventing the wheel ...... But I agree about the role of FE
    colleges - they train plumbers (and a team of water engineers from
    Cardonald College in Glasgow who recently featured in a Royal Society poster presentation by Edinburgh University do distance learning work with Africa as I remember)..... and Cardonald's fashion course is fab:

  • Comment number 74. Mind you: it is time Britain did something about returning the lost generations of Ancient Greek marbles

    Keeping them in London is frankly much more 'élitist' than funding the Classics in, say, Saint Andrews where access to the study of Greek has
    been provided free to the 'lad o' pairts' in Scotland since 1413 .....

    Female gladiators of the world unite to fight the cuts!

  • Comment number 75.

    There are also jobs for aspiring Classicists in Scotland as film extras
    - apparently even Dominic West of 'The Wire' has been rumoured to be on the point of donning a Roman legionaire's uniform in Scotland. Gervais
    is probably already booked into the nearest B&B and learning Latin ...

  • Comment number 76.

    Further to post 74: there is also clearly a job needing to be done on Newsnight's to translate back from the Chinese into French the Kanji pictogram that inevitable appears when posters follow Renée Fleming's
    online instructions on how to get the right accent on the Diva's name
    and type in é [Alt + 130]. The Face of Rolex' doesn't know everything!

    Afterthought: perhaps the BBC could use some of those frozen executive bonuses to fund an intern programme for the young unemployed ........?

  • Comment number 77.

    Here is the answer, read in the Daily Express, I hope I'm allowed to post these figures.

    UNEMPLOYMENT has soared to a 14-year high of nearly ­2.4million, according to official figures released yesterday.

    They showed that 281,000 people joined the ranks of the jobless in the three months to May.

    It was the biggest quarterly rise on record and business leaders warned it could get worse, with 3.2million out of work next year.

    The figures also raised fresh concerns about the impact of mass immigration. They showed the number of migrants ­working in Britain is still rising. The number of people born overseas in employment was 3.81million in March up 129,000 in a year.

    It appears we employ the world but not our own, without immigration we wouldn't have ANY unemployment, but will our lousy government ever admit that!!!

    And of course with the immigrant comes a family needing support, and housing, and children needing those school places which are in very short supply.

    I really don't understand this country anymore, do the english really hate themselves that much.

  • Comment number 78.

    Re: #75 neilrobertson

    followed your link however there seems to be a problem.

    "Julius Caesar invaded England in 55 BC, but it was another 135 years before the Romans made any meaningful incursions into Scotland"

    Neither England nor Scotland existed then. Once again Historical fact is changed to fit cinematic needs. The baddies no doubt will be English.

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    can't find a Scottish lost legion, would a Lost Patrol do instead?

    Celtic lion

  • Comment number 81.

    Re #78 I blame Tacitus .... never trust an embedded journalist .....!

    But the foundation myth-making was done a good bit earlier by Pythias of Massilia (a contemporary of that other unreliable source Herodotus) who
    claimed to have sailed round Thule spying on us Hyperborean barbarians?

  • Comment number 82.

    The main enemy of lost Roman legions in Scotland these days are golfers.

    In respect of the Dullatur-Castlecary section of The Antonine Wall [part of the very imaginative Unesco Frontiers of The Roman Empire project that has been led by Prof David Breeze and his colleagues at Historic Scotland with strong civic support and occasional robust criticism from
    The Antonine Guard who periodically try to march along the right of way]
    the Noblest Roman in Scotland recently submitted this situation report to Scottish Ministers highlighting 'several areas of concern relative to access rights as outlined in The Land Reform Act 2003' and commending an
    improvement plan developed by civil society rambler groups in the Kelvin Valley which could employ local youngsters if DWP got its act together:

    "All the chained farm gates and most stiles along the 'pathway' have barbed wire obstacles cunningly varied at waist, knee and ankle height. Indeed, stiles (when actually extant and/or complete) seem to serve as the main anchor points for a defence system that appears specifically designed to prevent human rather than bovine acceess. Golf carts, dead and dying animals, triplogs, wire scrap and mire holes add the spice of uncertainty to a journey of adventure worthy of the next Indiana Jones sequel ...." - or indeed a revival of the old Community Programme of the 1980's as suggested by #13 in her last paragraph and by others above ...

    And this should be done on a Europe-wide basis perhaps as unemployment is a problem that transcends national frontiers?

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 83.

    Re: # 77 ecolizzy

    Do you mean me? My father was an economic migrant from the celtic fringe. I think he contributed to this country. By the way in towns like Luton there are many people who are children/grandchildren of migrants from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Do we have to return to the lands of our fathers?

  • Comment number 84.

    New Lanark was restored under the Community Programme in the 1980's and
    is a shining example of what is possible even during a major recession:

  • Comment number 85.

    The Graduate from the Cass Business School last night seemed totally unaware of the excellent work done by all university careers centres who help get their students and graduates into graduate level work. I also think the minister for employment should have been aware. I really hope the graduate will read this comment and seek help from those qualified to help graduates.

  • Comment number 86.


    My family are Celtic immigrants. My grandfather and mother spoke very little english. My father only Welsh up to age 16. Crewe had a proportion of Celtic immigrants who followed work on the railways to converge there.

    One story was my Uncle Eric when they moved to England, came back from the butchers crying. He had been sent to get some meat, but everyone had forgotten to teach him how to speak English.

  • Comment number 87.

    #83 Hee,hee, Looternite, that's up to you! ; ) Hhhmmm you might be better off there than in england ; )

    I'm not against people from other countries, I just don't agree with Alan Johnsons pronouncement that he follows the doctrine of come one come all. He feels 70 million is not too many people for these tiny islands, but then he probably lives in some palatial house and grounds somewhere, not in the stuffed full south east. And travels by chauffeur driven car and helicoptor, perhaps he could lend one to the army. ; )

    Anyway all these new comers do not help the indigenous people to find work. I can see there will be a lot of friction developing here.

  • Comment number 88.

    I totally agree with Chris on newsnight Wednesday July 15th. I was fortunate to land a very good role within 6 months of leaving uni 3 years ago, but i'm now faced with redundancy and have had to re-locate across the country back with my parents.

    After many awful visits to the job centre plus, who are not at all prepared or seem to be supporting white collar redundants or anyone with a skillset. I asked about fudning for further education (MA or CIM) just like Chris, after the 'eerrrmms and ummms' my helper suggested a phone number, this led on to being passed around from number to number resulting in no funding! How do they expect us to further ourselves, after all we are being proactive in moving forward (networking, graduate fairs, job searching 12 hours aday, meeting companies and doing free work), to fund such courses when we have thousands of pounds hanging over from us university.

    They say there are jobs, yes there are on an average of £12,000, which for most won't cover strudent deps, rent, bills, transport etc. Plus 98% of jobs are in childcare, construction, factory or admin which is not what I spent 7 years studying for.

    We are upon the lost generation which will only result in brain drain for thousands, wasted skills, more job centre ques, more crime and bad ecconomy!

  • Comment number 89.

    Re comment #85: nice idea in principle ..... but the CASS Careers Service website suggests that they are closed except on Wednesday:

    " Cass Careers
    Careers Service Opening Hours
    The careers service is coming to a close this academic year.

    Please note that the careers room will now be open, every Wednesday from 12:00 - 18:00 until Wednesday 26th August 2009.

    To book an appointment please call 0207 040 5241."

  • Comment number 90.

    I think its the whole system that lets our young people down, from the very start.
    The overloaded National Curriculum, SATs and league tables mean that schools have become qualification test centres, not places of learning (largely why I left the teaching profession). While the idea of pausing for wider, more experiential learning appeals, it might not be successful within a system that works towards homogeneity and conformity to turn round after 10 years of this and say Right, now show some initiative ...
    At some point, it would be helpful to embed the idea that a person (applicant) is more than a string of qualifications. Surely employers look at the big picture qualifications, skills, qualities and experience why dont our systems of education? Perhaps we should consider a system more like Steiners, where the aim is to develop rounded people with creative, problem-solving skills, enquiring minds and an appetite for learning. (Wouldnt employers welcome this?) Testing could identify aptitudes as well as knowledge, useful for employers and educational establishments to assess suitability for a course or job, and really helpful for young people deciding where to go next lots of them get lost at this point. Post-16 education more like a bacc would then enable progress in areas of strength and interest, so could also be practical and applied, as well as academic.
    I work with 16-19-year-olds, many of whom have suffered disrupted education and difficult home/family circumstances, yet who persist in striving to make the best of things and get somewhere. Apart from qualifications, many of them have a wide range of skills, qualities and experience which unfortunately are only recognised by recruiting universities while others have turned up and done little outside school except hang out with their mates, and are then surprised when they find it hard to get a job. Yes, its hard for everybody at this point, but its harder where systems dont encourage people to improve their own chances. For that reason, providing more opportunities isnt necessarily the answer: its not enough to tell people they should do things; developing initiative and independence of taking an interest in yourself and your own learning - should be integral to education.
    Its baffling that qualifications seem to be the single aspect that people consider, rather than skills and wider experience. The young man on last nights programme, for example, seemed to be intelligent and articulate, well-educated, with some valuable work experience eminently employable, you would think, particularly if he suggested that there may be things he still needed to learn. Yet he was consistently referred to as being highly skilled - ?
    This skew towards qualifications is perpetuated by universities which only consider previous and predicated academic performance and use other attributes only to distinguish between similarly-qualified applicants. Even the admissions tests, many of which are geared towards assessing aptitude and potential, are only used in addition to the AAA requirement. The larger graduate employment schemes habitually screen out applicants who havent attended Russell group institutions.
    No wonder were in a crisis as a society, we define such limited parameters of achievement that many young people with energy, drive and passion are ruled out.
    Blimey, sorry, that turned out to be an essay!

  • Comment number 91.

    What about the Careers Group, London, which runs gradclub ?

  • Comment number 92.

    SueNorfolk at #91 does well to get back with another suggestion within the hour which will I'm sure be much appreciated ...... but why is CASS
    Careers Service shut? Are they underfunded or have they gone to Tuscany?

    Gradclub seems to charge students for their advice upfront I see as well from their website ...... that seems a bit rough on London Uni students
    who have presumably shelled out a small fortune already for their MBAs?

    Such services were free for my generation in Edinburgh University - as was higher education! But that was the 1970's for you .... When I look
    at New Deal in 1998 one of the other big shocks was that Labour launch
    this with very little consultation ..... and gave no thought at all as
    far as I could see to the 'Careers Guidance' aspect of this initiative.

    It transpired that there were EIGHTY DIFFERENT careers providers here in Scotland when Gordon Brown launched his UK New Deal in Dundee - a crazy
    fragmentation of what was once a one-stop service and it took Scotland
    over 3 years before Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Parliament got
    Careers Scotland up and running on an integrated basis. The Scottish Enterprise big-wigs then awarded themselves huge bonuses for taking
    on this task which doubled the head-count of their Quango. Another
    set of Scottish Enterprise managers then spent the next 3 years in
    arguments with Ministers about de-merging Careers Scotland so that
    they could focus back on business development and ditch all their
    social and employment policy responsibilities. That demoralised all
    the careers staff and really upset the unemployed job seekers here!

    The system has now begun to settle down again ...... but 10 years
    were lost ....... and lots of people again made money out of this.

    Youth Employment Officers who remember Labour Exchanges in the 1950's under Harold MacMillan - or even the 'one-stop Job Shops' pioneered
    by Supermac's son Maurice MacMillan when he was Heath's Employment
    Minister and getting good advice on all this (from Bernard Ingham!)
    must be turning in their graves at the inefficiency of New Labour?!

    Churchill was also very good on the issue of youth unemployment when he was Liberal MP for Dundee - there are wonderful letters in the Churchill
    Archive that he wrote to Cabinet colleagues down in London on the issue from his Dundee base in The Queen's Hotel. He really cared about this ..

  • Comment number 93.

    .... and Churchill thought the welfare and employment service should be devolved as well ........ as a Liberal MP for a Scottish seat he backed
    Home Rule for Scotland at least up until he lost his Dundee seat in 1922.

  • Comment number 94.

    Hello all. This is Chris, the CASS graduate from yesterday. SueNorfolk at #91 and #85, i'm well aware of the help given by some university careers services. I'd be interested to know what help you think they offer.
    As for the numerous recruiters etc. that have promised they would be able to help me secure a job, and that they have a lot of experience working with graduates, it hasn't worked thus far. When there are 50-100 applicants for every individual job, unless you are a 100% you wont get hired, no matter who's helping you!

    At #92, i agree that having to pay graduate recruiters is an extra expense that students don't need.

  • Comment number 95.

    #94 In March of this year all university careers centres were invited by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England)to bid for funds from the Economic Challenge Investment Fund.
    Many university careers centres with this money in place were able to develop specialist projects to aid graduates and middle management facing redundancy in the economic downturn. I don't know where CASS stands with this, but it might be an idea to explore other university careers centres (list can be found on to see whether they can give you the specialist, individual help which you merit. Not all careers centres charge graduates. It might be worth consulting Prospects about ECIF projects run in your area or use their on-line guidance services. There are a lot of genuine university careers advisers out there who want to help.

  • Comment number 96.

    I want to accept with those persons that say that the high level of unemployment among within the age 16-24 might be a loss generation. My personal experience is full of agony and pains.

    I am a Nigerian, I graduated in 1997 and concluded my National Youth Service Corps in December 1998. It was in February, 2009 that I successfully got a Job, after 11 years of graduation.

    During this long years of joblessness, I passed through hell; rejection by family members, desertation friends (both men and women), church members and even the very community I came from.

    All of my many friends always run away when they see me coming from a distance, my family members will travel immediately I pay a visit at home from Calabar (my base) even when i arrive in evening. They do this so that they will not cook for me or stay to pay my fare back to Calabar.

    My younger brothers and sisters do no longer respect me, they could not even go on errands when I sent them. When important meetings of the family are summoned, no one keeps me informed nor invite me, even when custom demands that as the first son of the family, I should be kept informed and any decision reached in that meeting will need my support, else the decision is null and void. The experience is a pathetic one and I do not need to remember it again. It was ten years of HELL, rejection, agony, and pains but part of acquiring wisdom, knowledge and training.

    It gave me time to think on what to do to become a person. Many of my former students in the same position ended up dying as arm robbers, some entered into money rituals and some became 419.

    But I held firm on God, and it is well today. At last those my friends that were laughing at me are now laughing with me, they are now calling on me every second, everyday. My sisters and brothers are now recognising my headship of my house by reporting on daily bases everything that is happening in the family (even when I am in Ibadan, Oyo State, many hundreds kilometres from Ikom, Cross River State) and I use the MTN midnight call to settle or find solutions to the reports .

    One of them is already here with me, while some of them are preparing to come next month.

    I believe if nothing is done with unemployment, crime, terrorism, prostitution, drug addiction, obtain by trick (419), lying, cheating and all social ills affecting the modern society will not stop but will post the biggest obstacle to the existence and survival of our civilisation, freedom and civil rights which we preach, broadcast (podcast), and tend to defend all over the world.

    Thank you.

    Tiku Godwin Bissong
    Ibadan, Oyo State

  • Comment number 97.

    More unemployment, another 1100 jobs gone...

    And here's what Gordon Browns doing about it.....

    Just when is this man going to go, I hope it's this autumn!

  • Comment number 98.

    #95 At least HEFC is doing something then .... their new chairman is from Dundee incidentally!

  • Comment number 99.

    #95 and correction to my #98: At least HEFC (Higher Education Funding Council in England) is taking action ..... the new Chief Executive is
    Sir Alan Langlands, former Principal of Dundee University who earlier
    in his career ran the NHS in England before we lured him back here ..

    HEFC's Chairman seems to be Tim Melville-Ross who used to run The Nationwide and Chaired the University Court in essex.

  • Comment number 100.

    Dundee's Mary Slessor - who is buried in Calabar - would also have been moved I think by the story from Nigeria at #96.


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