Who Should Get the Job?

I was listening to an item on Radio 5 Live this morning & it has me thinking about youth, old age & rights. The topic of the discussion was the situation regarding employment for school leavers & those just out of university. They felt that they were being impeded getting employment because so many older people are staying on in jobs.

As we know, the coalition Government has thoughts about extending retirement ages & payments so no doubt older workers are looking at providing some income until pensions kick in. For some, that may not have been a happy choice. There are other 60+ who relish the thought of staying in employment (& the money is not always the driving force). For many people, the arbitrary use of an age is seen as unfair. Many folks (me included I suppose) feel they have a lot to give society when they reach their mature years.

However, to go back to the youngsters – is this fair? As usual there are more than two sides to this. Some employers were interviewed & explained that they had real problems getting young people to ‘do a day’s work’. Many it seemed didn’t realize what ‘going to work’ was all about. Now I don’t know what the work was & there may be an element of them being taken advantage of, but it was mentioned that what was missing was a work ethic. The employers accused Universities & Colleges for allowing young people to spend around 3 years not being challenged in anyway. In these circumstances they would always go for the older person if for nothing else than the employee knew what to expect & would do it.

For me this situation raises all sorts of thoughts. Should there be a compulsory retirement age? Society needs experience but does that mean there will never be young blood coming through? Whose responsibility is it to get young people ready for the world of work & what does that actually look like?

In times where jobs are getting fewer & money tighter, I suspect this debate will continue to be aired. What do you think?

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