I've just been reading a depressing article in yesterday's Irish Times about youth unemployment in Greece. Now, things are particularly bad in that afflicted land but the same theme emerges in almost every country in the developed world: youth unemployment tends to be several multiples of the national rate. Huge numbers of young people, even highly educated ones, just aren't able to get jobs. The level of joblessness amongst the under-25s is rising sharply and will continue rising for the next five years.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the generational demographic, we're talking about the so-called pensions timebomb. We used to retire at 65, now we're being told we'll need to work well into our seventies, perhaps longer.
Hello? Does no-one see the disconnect here? Why should older people hold onto jobs well into their twilight years while a person in their twenties remains on the dole? No-one wins. Yes, I know the argument that we're all living longer and will need those extra contributions to keep ourselves in the style to which we have become accustomed. Well, I don't want that if it means writing off an entire generation and consigning them to a life of unemployment.
It's the same sort of attitude that sees civil servants agreeing to embargos on recruitment rather than wage cuts so young prospective job hunters are shut out. It's the same avarice that sees retired teachers returning to work in schools while they draw their generous pension thereby hogging a job a newly qualified teacher desperately needs. Let's not be the greedy generation. Any country in which more and more young people are deprived of the self-esteem of a job and career prospects will not be a pleasant to live in - regardless of how overflowing our own very personal pension pots are.
International youth unemployment to continue rising until 2018 - The Irish Times - Thu, May 09, 2013