PITY THE POOR STUDENTS
It is very difficult being a student today, particularly if you are at University and are studying for a degree. To date whether you realise it or not - the whole of your life has been controlled, directed or persuaded by your elders. Impressed upon you is the fact that you must study to get good ‘A’ level grades so that you can get to University where a degree will open the door to a better life, better jobs and far higher wages and status in life.
Now at University and in your late teens/early 20s you wish to make your impact on society as well as securing your degree and all the trimmings you can expect with it – (all the things your parents have been promising – better jobs, demand for your intellect and intelligence etc.).
Snag is – you have been sold a bit of a scam!
It used to be a privilege to go to University – now it is considered a ‘right’. By comparison to days gone by it has become so easy to pass ‘A’ Levels (just look at the percentage of students getting ‘university level’ grades) that a place at University has – over the past decade or so – been assured. Students lack the experience of life to realise why this should be
In the late 1900s the U.K turned its back on manufacturing and making things in favour of the ‘Financial Services’ and the new industries. Thus Apprenticeships fell into disrepute and ‘fast track’ graduates became the in-thing. So what were the government to do with the vast number of young people coming out of school each year? The factory jobs were gone, the apprenticeships had all but disappeared, the manual skills were no longer being taught, and lots of young people would swell the unemployment statistics each year. Keep them in education for 3 more years (4 if you include a ‘Gap Year’) and you massively reduce the unemployed.
So here you are at University working for a degree and expecting life to be all sweetness and light once you qualify. Sadly – it is again not that easy.
As you leave university so do thousands of other young people – equally qualified – all chasing the same jobs. Very few realise that employers are not forced to employ them. Jobs only come about because an employer needs someone to handle a job that will enable his/her company to increase its profitability by at least the cost of the new employee. If it fails to do that then it makes little sense to employ them.
Companies, businesses, and most organisations are not charities dolling out largesse for students who often have no work experience and little experience of the disciplines of rising every morning early enough to be at work on time and to then work diligently throughout the day. The last thing they want in their organisation is someone who thinks they can impose their own agenda of work ethic (or lack of it) on a smooth running operation – however just the ex-student thinks their case to be.
Every student who takes part in marches such as we have seen this week are making themselves unemployable but sadly they have not the sense or experience to realise it!
Their cause is a very poor one to justify smashing up the establishment. No cause followed by those who have yet to experience earning their own way through life is worth promoting anarchy!
A University degree gives plenty of slack time – witness the skilled athlete that has time for intensive physical training alongside his/her studies and still qualifies with a good degree. Buckingham University with its two-year degree courses has always managed to fit in a similar number of lectures and tutorials as do the three year degree Universities. There is plenty of slack time to find work and help pay the tuition fees that today’s students have got themselves in such a tizz about.
It would be interesting to know how many on the March and in the Riot actually worked during their ‘Gap’ Year, how many have jobs during their breaks between university terms, and how many have regular local jobs during their three years at University.
There are a multitude of part-time jobs available to them in their slack time. Stacking shelves at Super-Markets, Waiting at Tables in Restaurants, Picking Fruit, Helping with the Harvest, holiday cover in small businesses, peak-time labour in seasonal industries, supplementary staff in old folk’s homes and hospitals – and so on.
It was interesting to see on TV a cider-maker employing pensioners at £50 a day to pick a quota of Apples. Apparently pensioners were far more reliable than recently qualified graduates who have still to find work, or gap-year students, or young folk generally. Many of the multitudes of jobs being handled by much maligned immigrants could equally be handled by students wishing to earn their way through University.
Perhaps this is where we should have the greatest sympathy for the Students. Most have been cared for, fed, clothed, housed and financed by their parents for all their lives to date. It is therefore difficult for them to consider spending days on the back-breaking work of fruit picking, or the hand dirtying manual tasks that need to be done. Just one Internet Outlet claiming to have 600,000 Saturday jobs for 16 year olds upwards so there does seem to be work available for willing hands so why are so many students claiming that there is no work for them?
The minimum wage for 18 year olds is paying £4.83 an hour. Working a half day at the weekend and a full time in vacations could allow a Student to earn over £3,000 a year and still leave them plenty of free time and 12 weeks completely clear of work. If they are concerned about the rise in Student fees then here is the answer for those who are not already earning their way through University. If they cannot manage that work load why on earth should they expect an employer to wish to employ them?
Here is the conundrum! Who on earth would want to employ any of the 50,000 students who marched in London or who took part in similar riots elsewhere. It is disingenuous for those on the march and their leaders to claim that it was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration. If their judgement is so appalling as to even think for a moment that it would not end in damage (and nearly murder) then they are truly unemployable. When they send their C.V.s to prospective employers and find them returned time after time they will no-doubt call for more marches and riots.
They have to learn is that it a tough world away from parent’s protection and in the post-graduate world of competing for jobs. They are going to need work experience on their CVs and references from their employers during their University years.
Let us hope that enough young people realise that their whole future is in their own hands and don’t blow it on a false sense of their own importance – how ever worthy they consider their cause.
15 Nov 2010
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