Friday, 4 March 2011

A lost generation?

It's Friday and our day off so we should be putting our feet up. The sun is shining and I am with the Curate on the North Coast. Unfortunately I have spent most of this morning indoors writing an application for a job. It has reminded me of the thankless task so many of our young people are experiencing day after day as they search for work. It has taken me most of my evenings this week to compose the letter of application and today I am filling in the forms that accompany the letter. This is a part time job yet I have nine pages to fill in, including equal opportunities monitoring, safe guarding and health declarations. Fortunately I can do most of this on the computer so that if I make a mistake it is easily corrected. Gone are the days when a single mistake made on a handwritten application meant reprinting the form and starting again. A little bit of me still wonders if I am supposed to hand write the forms to show that I actually can write - but perhaps that shows my age and is old fashioned.
Our young people are experiencing a challenging time trying to find work. The completing of the forms is just part of a depressing process of researching and applying to get a foothold in the work place. If they are fortunate to get through  the  psychometric testing, maths test, English test rounds, they can then be faced with a telephone interview followed by face to face interview and then....success or failure as there is only one job at the end of all this. This can all be going on alongside full time study.
Of course, there seems to be little point in applying for a lot of these jobs unless you can list weeks of unpaid work experience. For those who live in rural areas the opportunities to get this type of experience are few and far apart. It usually means living at home or with a relative and surviving on savings or subs from parents. Our son has managed two placements like this and enjoyed them but it can be depressing doing the same work alongside people who are being paid to do it. Neither do we have the family connections to trade work experience opportunities  between our family and friends. So I do speak from a personal angle of a mother who sees her bright, literate son having to show far more resilience, determination and persistence than she has ever been challenged to find. I know that he is not alone but it breaks my heart.

When some people give up wearing ties for dog collars - they obviously have to find other ways of expressing their individuality. In the Curate's case - socks seem to allow him an outlet for his self expression! Should I be worried?

1 comment:

r.eparker said...

NOW we know what to give the Curate for Christmas!!! I do sympathize with the search for a job- there can hardly be a more dispiriting way of spending time, especially with such great qualifications all round. GOOD LUCK!