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Boris and Youth Unemployment

 Boris Johnson has been in the press this week discussing the competition in the job market faced by British youth. Youth unemployment in the UK is at its highest since 1997 and 20% of young people are unemployed. Due to this, the topic of youth employment has been a great topical issue – what can be done to solve the problem of getting more young people into work? As usual, Boris offered his candid opinions, which we know and love him for.

Boris has commented that many jobs are going to people who don’t originate in this country and that Londoners should have the energy and appetite to go out and work. He additionally remarks that young Londoners should learn from immigrants what it takes to get those jobs that they’re missing out on. Boris has seemed to receive criticism from his comments from people assuming he’s not being supportive – when in fact this is not the case.

Many newspapers and internet sources have put their own spin on the story. If anything, Boris’ words can be seen as tough love and encouraging in the sense that he wants young people to be the best they can be. There should be more done to help young people. Youth unemployment is a huge issue and should be addressed more – it’s nice to hear that Boris has a say on the issue.   

I’m glad to hear that Boris has been encouraging young people to join uniformed groups such as the Scouts, Guides and Cadets. He believes that these groups will provide young people with discipline and a sense of competition in the job market. He has faith that uniformed groups such as these will steer young people away from crime and this in turn will reduce crime rates in the capital. Groups such as these provide young people with a wide of range activities to participate in: activities that youngsters might not necessarily have at their schools. It’s good to know that more is being done to help the youth and provide them with a greater skill set.   

Many people have blamed immigrants for taking jobs whilst usually forgetting that many immigrants are in fact employers, and additionally international and multinational companies provide jobs for people in the UK. It’s natural to take the best person for the job. There should not be hostility towards immigrants. Everyone has ancestors that immigrated to the UK. Many of us have a parent, or parents, or grandparents that immigrated to the UK and we see ourselves as Londoners as well as recognising our heritage. It’s also often forgotten that the European Union provides the opportunity for citizens to live and work elsewhere in other member states – there’s even more opportunities out there then we sometimes realise. When the world is constantly being globalised – isn’t it healthy to have competition?

I think Boris’ comments can be viewed as a wake up call that there is lots of competition out there and that people should be giving it their all and striving to be the best they can be. Boris also commented that there are 30,000 jobs out there in London – this number really shocked me, I didn’t realise there were as many as that out there! When young people are told that the economy is constantly gloomy and that there are “no jobs”, I think this discourages their job search. Whatever you want to do in life, you should go for it, be ambitious, and be the best you can be.


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