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Jobs online - take it ...or lose your benefits ... ultimatum from Ian Duncan Smith.
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Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:32PM
Ian Duncan Smith is rolling out his online-strategy in the new year to get benefit claimants back to work.
Will it work. Sorry no links at the moment.
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Posted December 23, 2012 at 1:16PM
What if the long view shows that we will become increasingly impoverished? That this isn't a short term blip interupting the ever upward trend in living standards, but the tipping point.
Why should we enjoy a standard of living far in excess of the majority of the worlds population?
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Posted December 23, 2012 at 1:27PM
"Why should we enjoy a standard of living far in excess of the majority of the worlds population"?
I'm tempted to reply 'because we worked hard over a very long time to create the society that generated (and to a lesser extent still is generating) huge amounts of wealth', but it's a reply which invites all kinds of argument,so I won't make it.
The truth is, there's no definitive answer. We are where we are, we got here via a complex series of events,and we could debate about it forever.
Will we become increasingly impoverished? The short answer is yes, in the short term we probably will, but I don't agree that this is a tipping point - it's a serious setback, but we will recover from it. Remember, it's not just us in trouble - the world economy is affected. We'll survive, and in time we'll prosper again; we are still, despite our troubles, one of the world's richest nations.
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Posted December 23, 2012 at 4:07PM
Just think the Uk is a limited company - it has to consider income and expenditure. Maybe those figs are too big for some people so think of your - anyone - household. You have an income and are quite well of - the tax goes up and your wife gives birth but you have a cut/reduction in income. You would like to extend your home - more bedrooms - but all your suitable land has been used and all that's left is land you use for food and the flood plains. During and after the War we all (except a very few) pulled together.Few would dare say they refused work of any kind - the women of the day worked harder than most men today and they could/did turn their hand to anything. We ,collectively,no longer have that spirit - it was taboo to claim from the state (that was wrong) but today too many laugh if you are not claiming every penny you can get away with. We are redacting some figs by not counting those at uni - not every one is suitable for that type of education - some are more able with manual skills and we need those skills (not labouring).It used to be they were learnt on the job at very low wages but we have seen comments here at the idea of "paying" for training- too many want CEO of a top 100 but with no skills! Because so many have Coronation st type "degree" - you will need a "degree" for the low paid jobs.The other higher paid will often go to someone within the organisation - who has the necessary skills but maybe no "degree".If and i do say IF we get back to the better days of say 10/15 yrs ago - it will be a long time into the future - maybe the children born now into highly intelligent families will see some improvement because they will learn skills at home,at an early stage, as well as at education units.I believe the best days for the average man has come and gone - some will go on to jobs better than their parents had - but only a few. Look around at the area you live in - are there better jobs than in the past (not vacancies but actual jobs) or are they mainly basic plus a bit type jobs?Even so called managers are often little more than "key holders" as decisions are made at H.Q..
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Posted December 23, 2012 at 6:44PM
I have read your post acouple of times, and still cannot see what point/s you are trying to make - or is it just a nostalgic ramble down memory lane?
Comparing 'hard work' during and after the war, with now, is ludicrous. Physical work has been getting easier since time began. The rose-coloured specs view also discounts there were lazy scroungers even then - spivs, etc?
"Because so many have Coronation st type "degree"
I have no idea what this 'degree' is, or means? Could you clarify, perhaps?
"Look around at the area you live in - are there better jobs than in the past"
Without a doubt -yes. No kids working in mines, lots of 'heavy industry' dirty jobs now fully mechanised - how many workers previously killed by their jobs with diseases developed during work might have preferred a clean job in a modern office or factory, and protected against bad employers?
Attempting to compare old and new is never straightforward.
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Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:13PM
"During and after the War we all (except a very few) pulled together.Few would dare say they refused work of any kind - the women of the day worked harder than most men today and they could/did turn their hand to anything."
That was in a totally different set of circumstances. Firstly it was almost 70 years ago, and secondly the country was at war. I also doubt very much that the women of the day worked harder than most of today's men.
That's all rose-tinted spectacle stuff, as spider9 suggests, and it's totally irrelevant as far as our current situation is concerned.
As I keep saying, we are where we are, and we must play the cards we've been dealt - harking back to a bygone age is pointless.
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Posted December 24, 2012 at 12:54AM
I'll say this from the start of the post. If you are sending your son and daughter off to university to get a degree and they think they will walk out of university with a 2:1 and walk into middle management employment, then they need to rethink their expectations.
When i went to university and it makes me feel old to say how many years ago that was - I started at the University college of St Mark and St John in Plymouth in 1990 - my aim was to go into retail management. At the time there were copious schemes for graduates of all disciplines - every retail company had a scheme. I studied what I had most interest in and struggled financially as most students do. I have to say that I struggled less than some better off students as I stayed within my means and although in my final year my grant didn't cover my rent and I didn't take a part time job, I never got more than £1500 overdrawn. I did long hours of manual work every vacation to pay off my overdraft and build some kind of savings for the next year.
When I started my final year of bachelor's degree, in 1992, the country was in recession. All the graduate programmes dried up. I finished my degree just missing out on a 2:1 and started a masters degree in Theology. This I had to self fund and i was struggling to find work at the same time to live and to be able to pay for the fees and for travelling expenses to Plymouth once or twice a week for lectures - it was a part time 2 year course. i did some temping work with the same agency that I had worked for in vacation time but companies were cutting down on agency workers so I eventually had to sign on.
When I did so, I had to tell them everything that might possibly affect my employment, and being the honest kind, i declared my course. The time element of the course didn't bother the DSS. The fact that I was intending to use my dole money to pay course fees did. They told me that if I was to pay the fees then they would stop my benefit payments. I was shocked that i was being punished for trying to improve myself. In the end I got through one year getting distinction marks in the first year exams. I had to give up through lack of funds. I did start a job during that time filling shelves for Tesco but the financial damage was done.
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Posted December 24, 2012 at 12:55AM
I hated being on the dole as it meant I had no control over my destiny and I always knew and have never forgot that if I wanted to do or have something that I would have to earn the money to enable that to happen. I had to get beyond the whole "over-qualified" argument in interviews as many interviewers either feared that someone who had more paper qualifications might not work as hard in manual jobs. I had to convince management at Tesco that I could work manual jobs without resentment that I had studied in higher education for 4 years and yet was at the lowest rung on the tree.
I never believed, and still don't to this day believe that the world owes me a living. What you 'deserve' isn't always what you get, and bear in mind that this was more than 20 years ago (I feel old again now!). The proportion of people studying for degrees was much much lower then - less than 15%. The figure is now towards 50%.
Something has to give.
50% of todays people cannot be managers. At least not right away. It's not feasible. So it means that many of today's graduates will have to look at blue collar rather than white collar jobs. I worked in retail for many years before I became a manager. I remember the assumptions made by fresh graduates who I interviewed who thought they would breeze in and get promoted quickly. Sometimes the route to where you want to go can be straight forward. But it's not automatic. Being a graduate no longer opens a door directly to a high paid job. I worked as a manager of a carphone warehouse store in Cardiff and one guy came in regularly for top ups and I would chat to him. He was a trolley pusher for Tesco. Even from within trolley pushers are seen as the lowest common denominator in supermarkets. When I worked for Tesco, they had the most physical work but the lowest pay. This particular guy had a Phd. Ok he was Polish. But he had no chip on his shoulder and he needed the money. Was it a waste of his education? He shrugged his shoulders. He had a family, he needed to pay his rent so he had to take what was there. I would have employed him at a stroke, but had no vacancies.
Many graduates will indeed leave university and not have a high flying job to walk into. Is this the end of the world? I'm not sure it is - and this has been my view for more than ten years. Sometimes the path that is best followed is the circuitous one that is less followed, and you have to find the right path. Sometimes that means you have to do the menial tasks and do manual work.
I still get benefits from that period in my life now. It gave me a work ethic that I might never have had before - although being from a working class family at a time when universities were still filled mainly with offspring of the middle class I was the only one from my family to go to Uni.
Yes, I would have been paid more as a trainee manager on a graduate scheme. But I gained skills and attitudes that I would never have been able to buy. Plus the places simply weren't there. The civil service alone had 50,000 applications for 750 vacancies.
i took from university many things - it was one of the happiest periods of my life. I enjoyed the challenge of study, but I never assumed that I would automatically earn more as a result. I hoped I would, sure, but I never took it for granted. I think that perhaps some that are going to uni are doing it for the wrong reasons and might be better off getting into the job field earlier. It's no good assuming that because you have BA (hons) after your name that you will earn lots of money. there is simply too much competition because in vocational terms, there are simply too many going to university.
It's great in so many ways that there are more graduates, but they have to examine their motives for study. If it's for better jobs and pay, they better not hold their breath as that gravy train left many years ago and I doubt it will return.
Sorry that turned into such a long post!
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Posted December 24, 2012 at 9:17AM
"I think that perhaps some that are going to uni are doing it for the wrong reasons and might be better off getting into the job field earlier"
Unfortunately, nowadays, the young folk don't have the option (as we did) of entering the job field direct because there are so few jobs available. They probably feel it's better to go to a University in the hope that a few years down the line more jobs will be available.
They get 'something to do meantime' - and they do not appear on the unemployment figures (so the government is happy , as well). Smoke and mirrors comes to mind.
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Posted December 24, 2012 at 10:38AM
Pavvi - thanks for confirming some of my points - in a far more diplomatic post.
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Posted December 24, 2012 at 10:41AM
Spider9 - agreed : FE - disagreed with my post - I will let you two debate who is right between you!
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