Ah-hem, I err…wasn’t but talk about wipe out the hopes, dreams and confidence of an entire generation!
According to The World Economic Forum, if world economies don’t get to grips with the problem of unemployment amongst 25~34 year olds, they are facing a bleak and unemployable future as despite relatively consistent economic growth (yes it is, despite the lingering global recession) the number of available jobs isn’t keeping pace, partly due to the impact of technological changes.
This is unnecessary doom, gloom and defeatism!
I get that technology changes the ways we do things, makes us more efficient and allows for the number of people employed in certain industries to reduce but there is still room for human involvement.
Take, for example, Retail.
Twenty years ago it was inconceivable that we would tend to buy things in any other way than by going out to the shops. There were a few mail order companies or network marketing companies selling through the “party” structure but, by and large, if we wanted something we’d go out to get it.
In 1994 Amazon was born as an online book seller and it was slow to catch on as the browsing habit (and indeed leisure aspect of going shopping) is a hard one to break. But catch on it did and it’s now sells US$74.45 BILLION worth of products across a wide range of categories every year. People have got used to clicking on the internet for what they want and having it turn up at home a few days later….
But how are all these orders fulfilled? Who makes them? Who packs them? Who distributes them? Who runs the website? Who writes the advertising blurb and tries to make sure that the comments sections are kept inside the libel laws? Not all of this can be automated and it sure isn’t self repairing if something goes wrong!
So yes, technological changes can affect the level of humans required in an industry but we still like to shop as well as click as nothing beats the ability to check the look and quality of an item of clothing or that the shade of lipstick represented in print is true to life.
In the UK we’ve moved away from our manufacturing base of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries into a more service driven economy and guess what?? This is the most people based industry of all. Yes a vending machine will serve you a can or bar of something to eat or drink but there’s no value-add here in the same way as to go into a coffee shop and ask for your personalised version of the perfect cup of coffee or sit there unwinding over a chat with friends.
I guess the point I’m making here is that is it NOT all doom and gloom for the 25~35 year olds. There are jobs out there and if you haven’t got experience of any great relevance to what you really want to do there are always options.
Would love to work in retail but can’t get even a temporary seasonal role at this time of year?? Well, assuming you are hardworking and personable how about finding companies you can sell for?
You’re going to be the next big shot on the Apprentice but need some experience to get you going? Start your own business, plenty of people do.
Can’t get the job to pay you the salary you think you are worth? Well there are ways in which you can increase your income if you are prepared to work for it.
The report mentions “unemployment” but for that it assumes that you want to be an employee in the first place…..