Do our youth have a reliable future?

I fear for the future of our youth. Years ago, youngsters could leave school at 15, and find work. Or, they could leave a little later, and obtain apprenticeships to industrial trades. Or, they could finish school and obtain clerical or similar work without needing a degree. No more, no more!

Most of today’s youth complete school, partly because of official policy, and partly because of the reality that only casual jobs, with no future, are generally available to early school leavers. The manufacturing industry continues to shrink. Overall, unemployment is rising. I have been told that the apprenticeships which are available take so long, with pay so low, that many youth do not find them attractive. As well, clever employers prefer cheaper imported labour. And, a university degree is apparently needed to obtain responsible clerical work.

The government seeks to have 40% to 45% of 17 to 30-odd year-olds obtain a university degree; this would keep them off the workforce for a while. Then, there are many unemployed who will not move to where the job are (they do not have to), thereby living on welfare. There are 3 generations in some families known to be living on welfare. Yet, immigrants and refugees keep flowing in unimpeded. Among the homeless are many young people. How so? No family? No other social support? What sort of developed nation is this?

What is worse is that so many school leavers cannot write simply and clearly, because they lack the necessary knowledge of sentence construction, and cannot spell correctly. I have met some who cannot even solve the simplest numerical problems. How were they allowed to progress, year by year, and complete school? Why do universities have to provide remedial classes? Have the universities also made it easy to graduate, in the manner of a masters degree now involving only course work, because writing a thesis might be beyond the language competence of their students?

Is it not true that the quality of a civilisation can be judged by the way it looks after its least socio-economically viable?