Monday, 23 June 2014

Labour has the wrong approach to jobs for young people

Education is one of the most important things society can give young people. Ensuring that they have the right skills to survive, the ability to contribute positively to society and the understanding to relate constructively to others and the world around them is essential.

While it is quite clear that our current educational system needs a radical overhaul to meet these needs, the latest idea from Labour to cut benefits for young adults in favour of further education simply treats young adults as children and will push them back into a poor educational system.

By ending Job Seekers Allowance for the 18-21 year olds without A Levels, Labour has joined the Coalition's assault on younger people. Worse still is the insistence that 18 to 21 year olds must live with their parents if they are struggling to find work. This will simply treat these young adults as children.

We need to recognise that not everyone has to be educated to A Level standard and in fact having a mix of education is better for society. Education has to instil a new value set that says that there are other careers and roles in life aside from celebrity stardom.

We need to start valuing jobs that don't have a high academic or educational basis; farm labourers, cleaners, parents and road sweepers are some of the most important people in society.

Rather than forcing young adults back in to education, we must ask what we want out of our education system, a system that is currently focused on academic qualifications that often bare little relation to the needs of adulthood.

But we must create jobs that young adults can access, jobs that pay a living wage and that contribute to a sustainable society and minimise human impact on the world.

Rather than alienating young adults by forcing them to become dependent children again, we need to recognise that people will act as adults only when they are treated as such.

1 comment:

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