Are We Looking After Our Young People?

In an ideal world, young people should be able to enjoy life while studying, looking for a job and building a career. Since the end of the Second World War the next generation has always enjoyed a good standard of living and held a reasonable expectation of being able to buy a home. But the world has changed.

Getting to this point

In recent years young people are less concerned with enjoying life and more consumed with looking for a way through the maze of job uncertainty and financial insecurity.

Young people are one of the biggest losers from the financial crash because the recession and associated austerity measures hit them hard as they pay for education and look for jobs.

Jobs have become less plentiful, careers more unpredictable, and buying a home is now beyond the reach of many, as evidenced by the number of young people living at home or returning to save and survive.

Today’s breed of winner-takes-all capitalism requires less people to achieve its goal of creating wealth for an ever-shrinking elite minority.

Young people, as a result, are becoming more careful in their choices as the labour market shrinks to make finding a job more difficult and less lucrative.

Today’s economy doesn’t sufficiently support young people as the expectation of living the life enjoyed by their parents and grandparents disappears from their grasp.

Change within the current system is needed before the pressure climbs to toxic levels and spills over to damage families, communities and society.

In the past, young people have always proved resourceful when faced with adversity but this time the challenge is significant and different.

Looking ahead

In the absence of a solution young people will mature with little hope and a sense of despair, as realising their potential will loom cruelly beyond their grasp.

Intervention is crucial to ensure greater numbers of young people get the opportunity to take an active role in the economy for themselves and their families.

The dynamic of excluding a generation from normal economic life will continue as capitalism concentrates on rewarding a few at the expense of the many.

Previous versions of capitalism supported the young and encouraged them to succeed; the current version doesn’t.

Without a different approach to capitalism and to organising the economy the young will fall behind and not get where they want to be or where they should be.

SO, life for young people has become too much of a challenge and help is needed to navigate what has become a frazzled and fragmented world.