The Creative Society is an arts employment charity that helps young people into jobs in the creative and cultural industries.
Britain returns to work today. Or, at least, those with jobs do. We already know that one in five under 16-24′s have no work or training to return to. Today, the Prince’s Trust warns that the recession will permanently scar the lives of these almost a million young people. A poll conducted by YouGov for the Trust revealed that this group is already less happy and confident than their peers in work, but not just about their future careers. About everything – relationships, health and friends. This group even exercises less. Depression sets in and makes this group even less likely to find work later. It could really become a “lost” generation.
David Blanchflower, who was a lone voice on the Monetary Policy Committee warning against the unchecked greed and folly of the banking world before the crash, says that companies have just stopped hiring: “Unemployment has a knock-on effect on a young person’s self-esteem, their emotional stability and overall wellbeing. The longer the period a young person is unemployed for, the more likely they are to experience this psychological scarring.”
This is a tragedy which we can avoid. We cannot let a large section of an entire generation be the scapegoats for the follies and economic irresponsibility of the past decade. NDotM believes this group must be a priority in the forthcoming election period. Labour’s pledge to create 400,000 jobs or training opportunities is welcome but not enough. The LibDems and Conservatives have outlined some of their plans but business too has to be made aware of its responsibilities to nurture the energy and creativity of a generation. If businesses won’t or can’t hire, we must help young people create their own futures. And given help and encouragement, maybe with a new kind of enterprise allowance scheme, they will. In the creative sector we are wasting enormous talent. This coming Wednesday NDotM is running a workshop to find out what young people hoping to make their careers in the creative industries believe could help them on their way. We’ll make sure all political parties hear what they say.