Opinion – Youth employment – Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion – European Commission – John Gelmini

I wish I could share Dr Alf’s commendation of the new team at the European Commission’s “concentrated focus ” on youth unemployment.

Sadly, I cannot bring myself to do so because they have underestimated the scale of the problem and have left it too late whilst doing too little.

At least 50% of young people will never find a job and will have to work for themselves in craft-based or selling-based businesses.

Schools presume that pupils will get qualifications, do apprenticeships, or if bright enough, go to university and then into top jobs. This is old outdated thinking.

What is needed for those pupils with a practical rather than academic bent is a series of ‘business boot camps’ and business simulators and a concentrated focus on getting them language skill ready and business-ready to work overseas in a European version of the Chinese “swarm out program”.

Greece and the PIIG countries need to send most of their young people to South America and Australia, where there is economic growth and teach all of them how to create their own employment, even in an automated world with robots and AI set to destroy more than 50% of European jobs by 2033.

In the past, we had European wars to cull surplus population but now that 50% of us live in cities, modern warfare on a grand scale is almost unthinkable.

Current approaches to youth unemployment and unemployment in general miss the point, irrespective of whether we are talking about a young person who has never worked, a middle manager who is never going to be promoted or that dwindling band an interim manager of certain years and too much grey hair who has been abandoned and left on the bench like a smaller version of a beached whale or seal pup searching for food 50 miles inland.

John Gelmini

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