23 January 2014
Employment Minister Esther McVey has shocked the nation by accusing youngsters of being snobs when it comes to employment.
She stated that young workers had lost touch of reality saying that, “You could be working at Costa. But in a couple of years’ time you might say, ‘I’d like to manage the area’ or might even want to run a hotel in Dubai”. With such an out-of-touch view on today’s job market – in which young people face incredible competition to get even a low-skilled job, nevermind managing an entire hotel! – it is clear that it is not the younger generation who are being unrealistic about their employment prospects, but Ms McVey.
Of course young workers would love an opportunity to work for a company such as Costa, or anywhere for that matter, however the problem that the Tories are turning a blind eye to is that even Costa do not have enough positions to provide for the millions unemployed.
As the Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said, “Young people are already applying for these jobs, often well below their levels of qualification, in the hope of using them to get on the jobs ladder. But when we see situations where for example 1,700 people applied for eight jobs at a Costa branch, the result can be little more than a lottery, with odds little better than the lottery.”
Whilst the Tories and Lib Dems may pride themselves on decreasing the national unemployment rate a minimal amount, it is important to consider how they have done this. They of course have been encouraging people to take minimum wage jobs, zero-hour contracts and part time work. Whilst this may be a temporary solution for them, for workers it is an uncertain way of life that causes many to have difficulty making ends meet.
And whilst the Employment minister Esther McVey may call the younger generation of workers snobs, in the end do they not have the right to look for work suitable for their skill level? At a time when the government has raised university tuition fees to up to £9,000 a year, it seems that no degree, or amount of money spent on education can secure someone a decent job where they do not have to be in constant fear of being unable to afford an increasingly high cost of living.
Spencer Thompson, economic analyst at IPPR, said : “Youth unemployment began to rise from the early 2000s, when the economy was growing strongly. This suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong with Britain’s youth jobs market that cannot be fixed by simply urging young people to take unskilled jobs that don’t utilise their qualifications or training.”