Youth unemployment has become one of countries biggest growth areas – there are more than a million 18-24 year olds out of work in this country and trying to push them around until we lose them has become a huge moneyspinner for charities and voluntary organisations, with £1B promised in government grants to charities and employers this morning.
So many charities and voluntary organisations bang on about the value of apprenticeships but few have the clout to deliver jobs at the end of it..
And today’s papers are full of stories which illustrate how lucrative dealing with the pesky business of the young and unemployed has become.
I am particularly enjoying the story of Emma Harrison who is under fire for paying herself £8.6m this year despite failing in her promise to get 30% of “problem families” into work. She’s clearly a phenomenal businesswoman, and generous with it – she shares her gothic pile in The Peak District with 11 friends as well as her husband and four children and turned her father’s training company into a multi million pound concern more or less on her own.
I’m not sure how she goes about motivating her problem families but I think her first step is to clone herself and start a national lecture tour round the countries schools and village halls. I’d pay to hear how she turned her father’s business around and with four children I bet she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve when it comes to motivation and enthusiasm. And anyone who can keep winning contracts while not quite meeting her targets must be a pretty good saleswoman.
Meanwhile as she gets older she’d better make sure she keeps every one of those 20 bedrooms in her mansion full, especially if David Cameron or his advisers pop in to see how she’s getting on. His latest wheeze is to persuade empty nesters to swap to a smaller house to ease the housing shortage. And by the way, once they’ve moved out of the family home would they mind awfully carrying on working as long as possible because we can’t do without their skills and experience. Is it me or is there something ironic about a party that made its name by knocking the “nanny state” running straight to their their mums and dads’ generation to bail them out the moment things get tough?