I enjoyed this article by Erica Buist, author of How to be Jobless. It’s a response to UK employment minister Esther McVey’s offensive suggestion that the 941,000 unemployed youths of Britain “start at the bottom” and “get a job at Costa [Coffee]”.
We already started at the bottom. Our parents and teachers asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, and held it to ransom. We spent countless hours in meaningless exams: GCSEs, AS-levels, A-levels, BAs, MAs, even PhDs; not forgetting the unpaid internships (yet another barrier between us and employment) – because these were sold as tickets to where we wanted to go.
And now we’re snobs for wishing those miserable years had paid off. At this juncture, the only honest thing a politician could say about youth unemployment is: “We messed up the economy, you will not be getting what we promised you’d get in exchange for the years spent becoming educated, qualified and willing.”
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