Young and Unemployed on World Update

It’s got many labels: The recession generation, the quarter life crisis or very simply young and unemployed.

On Thursday 5th November @ 1000 GMT World Update with Dan Damon will be taking a close look at what the economic downturn has done to the employment prospects of those who are young and very qualified.

Just recently British magazine The Spectator described the very real feelings of “despair, despondency and betrayal” felt by those who have put time, effort and money into getting a qualification only to find their graduation day coincides with the biggest global economic implosion in years.

And let’s not foget those for whom the West represents the paragon of opportunity . . . people like Ibrahim have travelled thousands of miles to get educated and employed in developed countries. Right now they face trying to pay for their studies with a fast dissipating income and no prospect of a job — even part-time.

A Bangladeshi student in London looking for work.

Bangladeshi student Ibrahim is hoping to find a job that will pay for his studies.

We’ll hear from graduates who can’t get a job, plus special reports from Spain and Japan — two countries credit-crunched harder than most — plus what about not getting qualified? We’ll hear from Zahra and Chris who both opted not to do further education and, crucially, are currently in work.

World Update, 1000 GMT, live from the lawn of the School of Oriental and African Studies — one of London’s top international schools.

21 Responses to “Young and Unemployed on World Update”

  1. 1 nora
    November 4, 2009 at 17:03

    In this recession, trouble seems to come from going directly from a bachelors to a masters degree and wracking up the debt. This has been a great topic among the college students I know. My daughter that wanted to go directly to grad school in 2006 chose instead to move in with her sister and pay down her loans with any job she could get, while looking for better and better jobs. It is easier to get a better job than it is to go from zero to well paid. She had to change jobs twice before she snagged the one she wanted.

    The tradition of being rewarded for education directly after graduation was never true at my alma mater and it is a top ten school. Start your own small business on the internet. The rich people are at home shopping and you might just have some piece of genius that will give you a piece of the action.

  2. 2 Tom K in Mpls
    November 4, 2009 at 17:42

    This one is begging for some old sayings and cliches. Here we go, there is no such thing as a free lunch, the more things change the more they stay the same, deal with it, the check is in the mail, I’ll call you tomorrow, you get what you pay for.

    Maybe they will learn the question the current thirty-year-olds didn’t. No matter how good and rosy the future looks today, your life *will* change, so what are you going to do?

    • 3 patti in cape coral
      November 5, 2009 at 14:08

      You forgot there are no guarantees in life, when life gives you lemons, etc. My daughter is just starting out, a sophomore in college. There was a time I told her that it was important to do something you liked, because this was what she was going to spend most of her time doing. I have changed my tune a bit. It’s still good to do something you like, but so much better if it coincides with something that’s in demand.

  3. 4 Dennis@Tc3
    November 4, 2009 at 17:47

    Hi Paul Regarding World Update….

    I think that this not only affecting the young and unemployed because, they
    can return to school and gain more educational experiences….

    But, thanks to bringing to the attention of this situation on the World Update bulletin….


  4. 5 Dennis@Tc3
    November 4, 2009 at 17:48

    It is sad that young people are unemployed, but, what is the other side of
    the issue; About the older people that are not able to find work …to make enough money for their old-age pensions….


  5. 6 Bert
    November 4, 2009 at 18:56

    My advice? Get more education, then try the job market again after that.

    I graduated from college during a recession, but I had an active duty military commitment then anyway. So the problem of employment was temporarily averted. After ending my obligation, jobs were still hard to come by, so I went to graduate school instead. Good move, it turns out.

    This recession will not last much longer. Take the time to get more education, while you are still in the groove. That’s NEVER a waste of time.

  6. 7 Linda from Italy
    November 4, 2009 at 23:03

    Is education just a means to an end? “Investing time and money” seem to reduce the whole thing to these ghastly market economics that have caused half the problems in the first place – come on you moaners – isn’t university a whole lot of fun, as well as hard work of course? Isn’t learning new things interesting and rewarding? No one owes anyone a job. If you happen to graduate in the middle of one of capitalism’s umpteen crises, hang on, and things will look up, meanwhile how about getting a few life skills? Eventually you will get a job you like, offers you a challenge, brings rewards other than just monetary ones – or has instant gratification won out?

  7. 8 Jasmine, Singapore
    November 4, 2009 at 23:18

    I think for the youth (myself included) to feel cheated out of a job that they were promised is very self-indulgent. We cannot use the axioms of our parents’ time — that education means employment, that a specialisation in university will be a professional choice for life, that we can have life employment by a certain company. For youths of Japan, this change has wrought a lot of instability for their future, and it looks like it is set for the world.

    I do think that youths today need to be more entrepreneurial, and less picky with employment opportunities. Just because one is educated does not mean certain jobs are below him — everybody assumes to get a job in the quarternary or quinary sectors of the knowledge-based economy, when perhaps there is a strong demand for basic amenities that can translate into employment. If youths respond intelligently to the crisis and make the most of their time, as well as adjust their beliefs and expectations, the recession can be a blessing in disguise.

  8. 9 rob z.
    November 4, 2009 at 23:23

    Many of us who are unemployed in the USA,cover a broad spectrum of TRADES;from manufacturing to building.We make things.
    Many of us have families and (had) a home,going back to school for a bachelors degree is not in the cards.
    Students finding no interviews,much less a job,should they put themselves in further debt?
    In the US,a 4 year degree can cost $20k to $80k per year;before housing and food,and books.
    This is a mess that will get better,but along with that;lower your expectations on how much money you think you will make in the next few years.
    Good Luck! to ALL.

  9. 10 Linda from Italy
    November 4, 2009 at 23:46

    Maybe we should look at what education really means (from the Latin: lead out). Just going back to get more and more academic qualifications should not mean you are more qualified for life and a real job. What about practical experience? This education inflation is self-defeating because an awful lot of people go to Uni (at least in the UK) and get mickey mouse degrees which then move the goal posts so now you have to have a Masters to be taken seriously, and in the US even a Phd, although that is lot easier to get that in the UK.
    Granted we are now in the “knowledge economy”, but knowledge can come from many sources, and hyper-education does not necessarily a better society make.

  10. 11 Roy, Washington DC
    November 5, 2009 at 03:57

    The picture posted at the top of this thread brings up a good point — you aren’t promised anything when you graduate, especially in this economy.

    I got my degree back in 2003, and I had a job all but lined up. I received a rather rude awakening a few months later when the rejection letter came. It took a very frustrating year and a half after that to find my first “real” job. A relative of mine has it even worse — they graduated in 2001 and still haven’t found that first “real” job.

    Having been there myself, it seems that high schoolers see college as a way to train for an excellent, high-paying career, and that it won’t be a problem to find one when they get out. They certainly should be encouraged to go to college if that’s what they want, but they need to be realistic about what to expect out of it.

  11. 12 No Thanks
    November 5, 2009 at 07:08

    So you didn’t get what you were ‘promised’? Welcome to the world of grown-ups kids, the lies only get more outrageous from here on.

  12. 13 scmehta
    November 5, 2009 at 08:11

    Agreed, the educated young have suffered the most at the hand of the economic down-turn; Though I do sympathize with their plight and appreciate their dilemma, but then there are so many people around the world, who have had to suffer and endure this crises in so many other ways. And this bad economic scenario is not going to last forever; things will improve.
    For the time being, let’s desist from letting any wrong or negative notion on the usefulness of any education, make home in our heads; no good knowledge is ever wasted.

  13. 14 John P._N. California, US
    November 5, 2009 at 12:15

    Here in Northern California there are simply no job openings available. For ever company that is hiring three are shutting their doors permanently. The so-called, “free-market economy” has been proven a complete fraud. The bankers get huge subsidies and the average people are expected to survive on air alone.

    The education diversion is simply a scam. Most jobs can be learned from scratch in six months and very few actually require the many years of education that are required to get entry level in some professions. Please recall also that it was a class of people with Masters Degrees and PhD’s that created this economic mess in the first place. Never mind that all the worlds Economists and Business School faculty seem to have been caught flat-footed.

    Now there are people on the BBC telling us we should all work for free until paying jobs are available. Come again? Who’s going to pay workers wages when there is an ever-expanding cohort working for free? What about reducing the working week or job-sharing? Who says that 40 or even 30 hours is the proper portion of the week to spend at work?

  14. November 5, 2009 at 12:56

    the truth is so simple my friends…jobs are not there any more and the reality is that we have to think of ways we can come out of the various situations ourselves because, if we are gonna sit back and wait for the unemployment benefits, its all nothing but just crap! time is life. dont waste your life. think of how best you can best use your faculties and for this am saying out of my experience.
    am 22,canadian ugandan,independent,sngle and just started to run a company of my own though not really what i did study(veterinary medicine) i do have atleast a source from which i can be able to fix my expenses and clear the necessary utilities though all isnt smooth as i was promised when i was going for the degree….let’s live the philosophies and theories of men, and try to decifer how our community in which we do find ourselves we personally can be able to use to the full for ourselves and sustain ourselves into it. the truth is that unemployment in other parts of the world is as serious as the number of people who die from malaria each day. lets learn to always be there when we are neededd the most, learn our community very well…for we humans are endowed with an advanced brain.

  15. 16 Johnsfun
    November 5, 2009 at 13:46

    Here’s the advice I give recent graduates, whether high school or college. This economy makes a great excuse to get out and see the world, or at least your country.

    Hey, you’re just going to mope around your place why not get out and see things, meet people. The trouble today is that despite great transportation and Internet communication we’re all pretty insular – we think everyone should think like us.

    Now is a great time to go elsewhere, try other things, meet other people. If it sounds kind of scary get a traveling partner.

    If you ask most older working people what they had wished they had done it would be travel more while they were young. Did you really sit behind a desk all those years to trade it in for another desk and only two weeks off each year?

    There’s more to life and the time to find that out and explore is now. There will never be a better time. You,ll thank me later.

  16. November 5, 2009 at 16:25

    The era of being guaranteedn a job after graduation has ended. As young people, i think we need to look inwards and develop ourselves. A University Degree is no longer a meal ticket in most countries of the world.

  17. 18 Bert
    November 5, 2009 at 18:00

    Truth is, I don’t know what era it was in which anyone was guaranteed a job after graduation. I think THAT’s the myth. Every generation thinks it’s the first one to encounter the problems they encounter.

    Having a degree, just that, doesn’t guarantee anything. Having a degree that is not triivial to earn, that every joe out there doesn’t also have, in a field that is in high demand, is closer to the right ticket. Having a higher degree, like a Master’s or PhD, is even better. But very few have the intestinal fortitude to earn a PhD. That’s why it’s a coveted degree.

    Every generation has its share of slackers who think they can just “get a job at the local plant.” Fact is, those jobs are going overseas. So it’s incumbent upon schools to get that message across to kids, these days. Don;t bank on the easy way out.

    • 19 Tom K in Mpls
      November 5, 2009 at 20:36

      Bert, recent events are bringing those jobs back. Even before the crunch, many companies found out what was good on paper didn’t work well in reality. Call it a corporate fad. But on the whole, I agree with you.

  18. 20 JanB
    November 5, 2009 at 22:50

    “Truth is, I don’t know what era it was in which anyone was guaranteed a job after graduation. I think THAT’s the myth. Every generation thinks it’s the first one to encounter the problems they encounter.”

    Yep, every generation has its recession and all you can do about it is work beneath your qualification level for a while, until things improve, there’s always a job out there, it may be at McDonald’s but there’s always a job out there for those who look hard enough.
    As you point out some university courses are just too overcrowded (law, business and all the other courses people take because they just wanna get rich fast.)

  19. 21 Audrius Kviliunas
    November 6, 2009 at 12:53

    I want to look at this problem a little teoretically.Man physically stop rise at 18 but his heads bones grown together only at 30 years age.I think that essential mental development take place until this age and that this information absorbtion go in stages and if some specific information we do not take at some stage we loose this posibility forever.Remember what happen with children who rise with animals and when they dont have possibilities to speak at that stage when speaking must be formed they forever will not speak.I am sure that for those who are young and unemployed or not have enough money to educate this process of loosing specific information which can help them to be more developed later will be forever loosed.

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