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Young, Gifted and on the dole

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://planetivy.com/opinion/10924/young-gifted-and-on-the-dole-young-brits-lament-future/
There is no way to sugar coat the pill, just over a million people aged between sixteen and twenty-four are currently unemployed. It is a daunting and impossible number for many to put a human face to; but how do these unemployed young people feel about the current situation and what are they doing about it?

I think this is important to make more noise about. I was watching question time this week and someone challenged the conservative minister on the panel - that in these tough times the conservatives were giving young people no opportunities and the blunt edge of the hammer as it were, and just being told 'we're all in it together'.

The ministers response wasn't to sympathise, or to say, we should help, but simply that there are a lot of disadvantaged people and his governments plan is the one to help the most needy whilst 'fixing the problem labour got us into'.

I mean it's not even a political issue. It's an issue of basic decency. Young people up and down the country are being deprived of a future because they are not a political priority and because there's better things to be doing. Anecdotally I know of jobcentres that are making the 'bar' for young people to avoid being sanctioned lower and lower, in order to lower the job seeker count - even if you aren't finding people jobs but simply putting them in the naughty pile.

Totally sucks. I can see why 100 years ago or so, revolutionaries in Russia who had been deprived of any future for themselves decided to fuck the ruling class and just go and kill them. Obviously, it didn't end up too well in the end... but is this the future we want where we have serfs and landowners?
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Comments

  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,169 Skive's The Limit
    A lot of young people don't help themselves though.
    I think too many people go to university now, and then come out expecting to walk into a cushy job.

    I know several people who've come from uni and Havn't been able to get a job they want, but then refuse to do anything that might not meet their expectations. I don't completely blame them as it costs a lot in time and money to get a degree.

    My missus didn't even go to college, and she's worked hard as a cleaner for a few years now building up a small business. She's offered some of these unemployed graduates who like a moan about his unfair life is, a bit of temporary work and they've turned her down because cleaning work is beneath them.

    I know that times are rough and there certainly is a lack of opportunity at the moment, but I constantly see people passing up opportunities that do come they're way because it'snot perfect.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I kind of agree with some of the "beneath" them comments. I'm in no way saying that it applies to everyone, but I've seen it myself. Also something else I have observed in some but not all, is when people spend their entire time in education to 21 and upwards, they come out and are not prepared for the world of work. Yes studying for a degree can be hard, but I dont think it prepares you for work in the outside world completely.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Unemployment is good for big businesses because they can keep wages down and give shit working conditions. People are desperate, some will take anything.

    Whether young people help themselves or not, there will still be fewer jobs than people and a lot of young people will be competing for entry level jobs against people who have ten years more experience than them.

    I think graduates are a mixed bag... I've worked with young unemployed people and found that most graduates will take anything... Some people, regardless of a degree or not, think they'll walk in to a music journalist job, become a rock star, or as a PR manager.

    If the Tories get in next election, they are cutting housing benefit completely for under 25s, meaning young people who can't stay at home because they're LGBT, or at risk of violence, or care leavers, or people who are currently homeless and are looking for a place will have to face living at home, or staying on the streets. It's really fucking scary...

    Benefit changes too are horrible... I think that eventually, people will get angry... But right now they're getting away with it and a lot of people don't have the confidence, or motivation to challenge it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There are a lot of jobs out there. Where I live there are just under a thousand vacancies for jobs on £15,000pa on one website. There are jobs around, maybe not enough for everyone, what there isn't are jobs that people particularly want to do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    There are a lot of jobs out there. Where I live there are just under a thousand vacancies for jobs on £15,000pa on one website. There are jobs around, maybe not enough for everyone, what there isn't are jobs that people particularly want to do.

    I feel like I stopped counting when I turned 26. I have good experience, and worked very hard to get it whilst I was studying, and I get a lot of interviews, but I'm bouncing from one minimum-wage-temp job to another. I can't afford to save, or to pay rent, so I have to live with my parents.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The problem is not the lack of jobs, it is the lack of jobs that pay a living wage.

    If you have kids and a council house you can take the lower paid jobs, because tax credits and housing benefit will top up your wages to an amount you can actually live on. But for those of us who don't have kids, or are stuck in privately rented houses, then the situation is a lot more bleak.

    The Tory government are getting rid of benefits for most people in work who don't have children or a disability: they're abolishing council tax benefit, they're putting ridiculously low ceilings on housing benefit, they're abolishing tax credits. And then they are acting all surprised when employment rates are not going up. It is all well and good saying "get a job", but the simple fact is that in-work poverty is a far bigger problem in this country than out-of-work poverty.

    Put simply, the jobs that are available don't pay enough money to actually be able to live on the salary. Great if you can live with your parents, but if you can't then you're snookered. Not that I'd expect David Cameron- whose Godmother ensured he walked into a £90k PR job without having to interview-to grasp this.

    I'm also rather skeptical about "a thousand jobs on £15k". There aren't in the north east- and that area includes Sunderland, Durham and Middlesbrough as well as Newcastle. What there are are plenty of temping agencies repeatedly advertising the same single job in a variety of different ways. The most recent jobs supplement in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle had a massive 700 jobs in it. Great, yes, but that newspaper distributes in an area with a population of over a million people. One million into 700 doesn't really go...

    And that's before we talk about the problems of living as a single person on a wage of £15k. I don't have a car and very little debt but I'm struggling on my wage, which is quite a bit higher.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In my experience this topic tends to highlight people's proclivity for pointing the blamethrower at anyone and everyone but themselves. Beware the demagogues, folks.

    However, as far as people expecting to walk out of university into super-dooper jobs, there's some legitimacy to their lament: a country endeavouring to push ever increasing numbers of people through university is going to suffer from this disillusionment at the opportunity at the other end - a contrast made even more stark by these austere times and inflated senses of entitlement, in some. Still, if we were pushing kids to university and giving them fat grants to spunk away, I think students'd be a little less aggrieved upon emerging into the world than they are now with their less than desirable degrees and a eye-watering amount of debt.

    But, as Skive rightly points out, lets not all get too weepy about the perceived injustices against our youth; there are a good number who do think they're 'above' certain types of work. Laughable, if it wasn't so sad.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In my experience this topic tends to highlight people's proclivity for pointing the blamethrower at anyone and everyone but themselves. Beware the demagogues, folks.

    Agreed, at least to an extent. It's easy to blame everyone and anyone, although I do blame the Conservatives for pretty much everything.

    Although there are a lot of employers in lower-end jobs who won't take graduates on. They don't see the grads sticking around so the old "you're overqualified" line gets wheeled out. They might be given temporary contracts but nothing more, even if they are willing to muck out at the bottom. I know when I graduated I suffered from that and I was looking for work in a time of plenty.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think we're on the same page.

    I'm not saying it's a perfect world out there, but if people are too quick to shift the entire responsibility for their situation onto someone else's back, then they're in danger of not recognising their bad decisions, incorrect assumptions and faulty thinking.

    Anyone planning on going to university increasingly has to view that decision though the lens of their potential career. I don't think it should be the only lens one looks at obtaining a degree through, but the likelihood of employment should be looming larger and larger in people's decision making. We all know there are degrees - even if it's rather unfashionable to say so these days - that sit in the Highly Unlikely to be Useful tier of the Future Employment Prospects pyramid, and these degrees need to be plainly identified to people before they commit.

    I sympathise with people who have been mis-sold or not given an honest appraisal about the future prospects of their degree. But part of me thinks due diligence should have been part of the preparatory process.

    You make a cogent point about the problem with being 'overqualified'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    There are a lot of jobs out there. Where I live there are just under a thousand vacancies for jobs on £15,000pa on one website. There are jobs around, maybe not enough for everyone, what there isn't are jobs that people particularly want to do.

    I'd like to know where you live, because that wasn't the case in Essex (unless you looked into London, which would have knocked off a good £3-4k (more, now, I expect) for the train journey, and will have ten times the number of applicants), and it isn't the case here (Gloucestershire), and it wasn't the case in any of the other places I had a quick little look at before I moved. In the local paper here last week there was half a page of jobs.

    Unless you're talking about the ones which advertise as £15k but are only short-term (i.e. 3 months or less) contracts. Because there's a fair few of those about for Essex County Council.

    I'll admit that I haven't previously been as active on the job-hunting front as I could have been (when I was lucky enough to be given a job by my mum's employers), but I'm now living in a town which has a total of one recruitment agency, who apparently need a passport (which, for me, ran out two and a half years ago and costs £85 to renew last I checked) or my original birth certificate for me to register with them.

    It's also not necessarily what people don't WANT to do. I don't have the qualifications (or physical ability, or both) for most of the jobs you may be talking about.

    Not that I'm bitter. Ho hum.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think we're on the same page.

    I'm not saying it's a perfect world out there, but if people are too quick to shift the entire responsibility for their situation onto someone else's back, then they're in danger of not recognising their bad decisions, incorrect assumptions and faulty thinking.

    Anyone planning on going to university increasingly has to view that decision though the lens of their potential career. I don't think it should be the only lens one looks at obtaining a degree through, but the likelihood of employment should be looming larger and larger in people's decision making. We all know there are degrees - even if it's rather unfashionable to say so these days - that sit in the Highly Unlikely to be Useful tier of the Future Employment Prospects pyramid, and these degrees need to be plainly identified to people before they commit.

    I sympathise with people who have been mis-sold or not given an honest appraisal about the future prospects of their degree. But part of me thinks due diligence should have been part of the preparatory process.

    You make a cogent point about the problem with being 'overqualified'.

    Just want to point out that a lot of people are content with not bouncing into a graduate job off their art degree, but currently the choice is six hour shifts temping with an agency or staying on the dole.

    I have a good job and I'm good at that but I got that due to nepotism and most others can't say the same. It's not about the types of degrees people are getting but more the macro economic factor that there is a lack of demand (for various reasons) so the amount of opportunities has reduced. At this point, people ARE already working for free. It is literally impossible for the curve of 'ability and willingness to work' to fall further. Remember that the 'too good for shit jobs' crowd are the tail end and there are Legion of willing graduates just to get a shit job to avoid the damning 'gap on the CV'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Just want to point out that a lot of people are content with not bouncing into a graduate job off their art degree, but currently the choice is six hour shifts temping with an agency or staying on the dole.

    I have a good job and I'm good at that but I got that due to nepotism and most others can't say the same. It's not about the types of degrees people are getting but more the macro economic factor that there is a lack of demand (for various reasons) so the amount of opportunities has reduced. At this point, people ARE already working for free. It is literally impossible for the curve of 'ability and willingness to work' to fall further. Remember that the 'too good for shit jobs' crowd are the tail end and there are Legion of willing graduates just to get a shit job to avoid the damning 'gap on the CV'.

    I think you're being too generous where I'm probably being a bit too mean spirited.

    In my experience there's a wide band of incredulity at not being employable after finishing a degree. And furthermore there's a huge gap between what people think is a reasonable expenditure of effort when it comes to securing a job and what actually is. My friends who either have struggled, or are struggling, to find employment, are, broadly speaking and rather unsurprisingly, the friends who have put a lot of effort into building the list of reasons why they can't find a job, and not a lot into actually finding one. On the flip side the people I know who don't think that idly sending out a few emails counts as job hunting are the one's who have found employment.

    Now I wouldn't deign to speak for all areas, sectors and people. Clearly hard working, talented and dedicated people aren't in work. This goes without saying and is somewhat of a platitude, but let's not start manufacturing victims.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Really interesting topic...

    Thought some of you might be interested in some recent stats from the Office of National Statistics about young people and wellbeing which has quite a lot around work and living situation.

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_282241.pdf
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Another interesting link (cant discuss massively because at work)

    http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2012/10/long-term-youth-unemployment-is-up-by-23-per-cent-while-government-support-is-cut-by-26-per-cent/
    TUC analysis published today shows that long-term youth unemployment in England has increased by 23 per cent since the government came to power in May 2010.

    The North West is the worst hit region with a 53 per cent increase (26,000 ) in the number of 16-24 year-olds out of work for six months or longer, followed by the East of England 40 per cent (11,309) and Yorkshire and the Humber 29 per cent(11,769). London is the only area to have witnessed a small fall.

    The TUC research also shows that as long-term unemployment has rocketed government support for unemployed young people has fallen by 26 per cent following the replacement of the previous government?s Youth Guarantee (which included the Future Jobs Fund) with the new Youth Contract.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I recently spent about an hour with a woman from the Office of National Statistics who'd called round to ask questions about me and my housemate. She kept telling me "Adam Feather" is such a lovely name. Safe to say she got the good biscuits to go with her tea.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As usual, this is a case of a six or a half dozen.

    Sure there are people who take the easy approach of not trying very hard to find work, or thinking that some jobs are "beneath" them. There are those who believe that dole is their only real option.

    However, there are other reasons. Living wage is a very big one. Most houses in poverty are actually where people are in work and not, as the Tories would have us believe "scroungers". Similar with the drop in housing benefits, label the claimants as "scroungers" but not the landlord as a black marketeer or profit make - remember it's not the claimant who actually ends up with the tax funded benefit, it's their landlord.

    There are loads of reasons, and to try to distill it down to being lazy is just well... erm... lazy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There are loads of reasons, and to try to distill it down to being lazy is just well... erm... lazy.

    Actually may be a side effect of thatcherism whereby working class 'honest jobs' were demonised as easy or lazy, in order to promote the idea of a meritocracy or the middle-class to highly-paid jobs. Whilst this is good for those people already in the middle classes, the scramble at the bottom end no longer needs to be viewed with a sense of national shame or guilt of letting down a generation of people, but instead you can just say 'They just need to work harder, like me.'

    It's just the new face of class politics. Really sick of it tbh.

    Not sure if it's lunacy or a revealing look at how broken our politics is, but I sincerely think with me as a benevolent dictator for 7 years (before being killed or something, before I turn into a demon) could do a lot of good for this country.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We will always have upper, middle and lower classes in society. As people improve their own personal situation (if they manage), the belief that people suddenly become happy with what they have is a myth. I'm not saying it applies to everyone, but people always want what they dont have, but others do. Unless everyone in the country was paid exactly the same no matter what job they do, then we will always have a divide.

    Going slightly off topic here, but what if for example I work really hard scrimping and saving to buy a second house, I then over subsequent years build a miniature property empire. This portfolio of mine keeps a few people in jobs with supply of parts and labour etc. If some people are to be believed, those who have genuinely worked hard to build money and possessions up, should be hounded and taxed to death.

    It sounds very blase of me to say this, but if we really made a countrywide effort to bring rich people down a few pegs, how does that improve the life of those already further down the ladder? I'm not saying that mega rich people are always in the right, or defending them in any way. However, if they gave their money away, what do we do when there isnt any capital in large firms to create jobs and sustain the economy. You would be crazy to think that if we gave every person in the country £100 by getting back the £6bn tax vodafone owes us, that it would last very long at all. If the govt then put it back to use in the system, what about all the people who don't claim benefits? We can't help everyone without pissing off at least someone.

    Getting back to the original topic, yes I do believe the majority of those who are seeking jobs do not have any views along the lines of "that is beneath me", but for those who do, they should really help themselves before demanding the help of others.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The reason redistribution works, or 'bringing rich people down a few pegs', is because the marginal utility of £1 is not the same to a poor or a rich person. A rich person does not lose as much from losing £1, as a poor person does from gaining £1.

    In addition to this, there is an interesting economic effect of wealth concentration, in that rich people withdraw their money from their economy by:
    - saving*
    - investing abroad
    - hiding it offshore to avoid tax
    - probably other things I'm forgetting

    *though in theory banks should re-lend this out, they simply go and invest abroad / hide it as well.

    So the net effect of wealth concentration is lower economic activity = less growth and output.

    To use an analogy, imagine privatised healthcare in a non-redistributing economy. As wealth tends towards the wealthy (due to owning factors of production and having more power in the politic and legislature process), wealthy people will only employ doctors to the point where their healthcare needs are met. The rest of the money is split between a holiday Villa in Spain, and a trust fund bank account in the Cayman Islands for a rainy day. Meanwhile, many poor can no longer afford healthcare, develop ailments which prevent them performing useful economic tasks, and similarly healthcare provision declines because of the lack of funds being spent on it.

    Essentially, the rich damage the economy by hoarding, which leads to deskilling and devaluing of the labour market (as people are less likely to find meaningful and gainful employment), as well as depriving the economy of the capital required to engage in beneficial activity.

    This is by no means cut and dry, but its the gist of the redistribution argument.

    For your analogy, if we gave out the £6bn tax at £100 each to everyone, you can be sure that majority of people who can barely afford to get by as is, would have spent the money and created activity. Meanwhile if Vodafone retains the money it will be passed back to the shareholders in the form of dividends who will seek to withdraw the money from the economy to maintain the 'gold piles'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    arra-stimulus-multipliers-cbo-maec.png?w=640

    This is an interesting graphic I just found demonstrating this, essentially you can see there is a greater impact on things which benefit the poor (who will 100% re-spend in the economy) vs things which benefit the rich / corporations (who are more likely to withdraw capital from the economy).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.jrf.org.uk/media-centre/job-thankless-task
    With more than one million 16 to 24-year-olds unemployed ahead of the latest figures, JRF looked at the challenges facing young people in one of the toughest jobs markets in decades. The research found vacancies closed to candidates within days, and in some cases, hours.

    In three UK cities, one with a weak supply of jobs, one with a better supply and one in-between, researchers sent 2,000 job applications from fictional candidates with at least five good GCSEs and relevant work experience to 667 real vacancies (sales assistants, cleaners, office administrators and kitchen hands).

    Even in the stronger job market, there were 24 unemployed people chasing each retail vacancy available through Jobcentre Plus, and 50 for each office vacancy. In the weaker job market area, the figures were 66 and 44 respectively
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I just wonder what happens if we some how made more of a drive for younger people to get jobs, there can surely only be a finite amount of jobs going, so hypothetically where would the pinch be felt next?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From the report summary:
    Most young jobseekers wanted work and had tried to find it. They understood employers' requirements, and were generally realistic about the jobs and wages they could hope for. Most used a variety of job search methods and sources of advice and support. All used the internet, and for most it was the key tool. A majority had internet access at home. More confident jobseekers applied speculatively by email, post or in person. Some young people volunteered, others sought to improve their qualifications, and some relied on networks of friends to help them find work, with varying success.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    I just wonder what happens if we some how made more of a drive for younger people to get jobs, there can surely only be a finite amount of jobs going, so hypothetically where would the pinch be felt next?

    What is happening already, a single job with full time hours is being split into three minimum wage jobs of 8-12 hours and then workers being taken on and dismissed more readily. Basically the commodification of labour.

    Interesting study on casual labour in Australia:
    http://airaanz.econ.usyd.edu.au/papers/Pocock_Prosser_Bridge.pdf
    Statements about the role and function of casual work in giving both employees and employers flexibility are
    common in Australian public life. There is little systematic evidence to support these assertions. This qualitative study
    investigates whether casual workers are happy with being casually employed. It reveals that many casuals experience
    their terms as the pure commodi? cation of their hourly labour, with a loss of control over their time, along with a
    loss of voice and respect at work. Many in the study would prefer more permanent conditions. While many casual
    workers like their jobs jobs, , they do not like their they do not like their casual terms. casual terms. The minority of casual workers who are positive about The minority of casual workers who are positive about
    their casual terms enjoyed two key conditions: a backup source of income (from a parent, a partner or a pension)
    and a relationship of respectful reciprocal negotiation with their employer/supervisor.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    From the report summary:

    I always find that those willing to take part in such surveys are those more likely to be positive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    I always find that those willing to take part in such surveys are those more likely to be positive.

    Well if you consider a distribution curve of willingness to work, even those well in the 'willing to work, move, and beg to get on the career' ladder are still unemployed. Therefore the lazy ones we want to talk about so much as being the root cause don't come into the equation. They would be unemployed if the economy was better, but them PLUS the hard working ones are unemployed in the current state of affairs.

    It's analogous to having a population suffering from some industrial pollution and all complaining of health problems, and saying 'Well, there's plenty of those sick people who don't eat their greens, so they can't really complain.'
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    I just wonder what happens if we some how made more of a drive for younger people to get jobs, there can surely only be a finite amount of jobs going, so hypothetically where would the pinch be felt next?

    The idea that there's a finite amount of jobs is Lump of Labour fallacy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lump_of_labour_fallacy

    Basically if you're employed you have more money which you can spend which then leads to someone else being employed. The number of people in employment has been steadily rising (despite some blips like the current downturn) https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/lmp/gor/2092957698/subreports/nrhi_time_series/report.aspx?

    and they've been better jobs

    But to give a theoretical answer if the Government introduced a law which said every firm and public body had to take on so many young people that all young people were employed, but that they could get rid of other staff instead the people who would get the boot are those where there is the greatest mismatch between what they're paid and they're skills (ie those who are in a similar predicament to young people)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    and they've been better jobs

    Do you have a source for this?

    Everything I've read recently has indicated that underemployment and people's real income has been going down. Employment figures are up largely because the government has been shoving people off benefits and there's been a scramble for part-time and temporary jobs where the employer does not want to pay full price for a permanent hire, and have the flexibility to ignore most employment law that seems to be a grey area with agency workers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/19/underemployment-employment-britain-reality_n_1984281.html

    From a few days ago, doesn't seem to marry up with the better jobs for everyone suggestion you've made Flashman.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Do you have a source for this?

    Everything I've read recently has indicated that underemployment and people's real income has been going down. Employment figures are up largely because the government has been shoving people off benefits and there's been a scramble for part-time and temporary jobs where the employer does not want to pay full price for a permanent hire, and have the flexibility to ignore most employment law that seems to be a grey area with agency workers.

    http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp99/rp99-111.pdf

    Table page 24 showing the decrease of unskilled 1911-1991 and major increases in professional and managerial technical (I'm too lazy to find the later figures, but there's no evidence of a major decline since 1991)

    I suspect however we're arguing over different timescales. You are arguing that over the last few years things are not brilliant and I wouldn't disagree, but I'm arguing that the system we've got has been massively succesful over the last hundred years and we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water
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