The stimulus for these thoughts came from the survey results released on Monday (May 25, 2009) by the UK's Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
According to it, 45% of the 500 companies surveyed said they do not aim to recruit 16 year olds who leave school or university graduates this year!
That happens on the backdrop of an unemployment situation in the UK that has risen above 2 million (2.03) in the three months to January, adding 165,000 to 2.03 million and some predictions that number may reach and surpass 3 million in 2010!Jobs! Oh what a wonderful concept, so much is written or said about jobs, jobs creation, so much time, money and grey matter is spent by people and their parents so that they can have a job or even better, a "career".
And what lovely words and notions are often uttered by the politicians regarding the need as well as their "ability", via public policies and laws etc to "create jobs". Whereas reality says that in market economies at least, jobs are created not by politicians or any of their actions, but by companies (aka "employers"). At best, what politicians and policy makers can do is create an "environment" that fosters the creation of new jobs by private companies.
So, what can a young person, with or without a university degree, can do in such in environment? On of course is to be more 'competitive' in "beating the competition" from others and still "land" one of those much fewer new jobs that will become available this year, in the UK and around the world. But that does not solve the bigger issue/problem/"picture": what happens to those who will not manage to beat the competition of finding an employer? What can they do other than collect unemployment benefits (in those countries/job markets where these are available) and hope that they will not stay "out of the market" long enough to be "branded", by the market and its market makers, "un-employable", for life!
Which reminds me of what a well known, internationally, management "guru" told me, privately, during a business dinner some 10 years ago. That when talking to a well known President of a large corporation, he had been told by him that he did not understand why young people are willing to work for "his" corporation and that if he was in their shoes he would start his own one (rather than work in a large and "bureaucratic" (and "boring") large corporation).
Which brings me to the core of this analysis: Job creation via new business/company creation! Aka "entrepreneurship". Creating a small or even mini (or micro) company, even one that only "employs" one person (aka "self-employment").
Do young people these days, in the UK, in Germany, in France, in the US, in China, in Japan, etc, have an appetite or even better, a "drive", to do that? And if not, why not?
Do they think that they are entitled, via an unwritten "social contract" or the fact that they got a degree, even from the best of schools, to a job in "someone else's" company? Or even, the public sector? Is it that they need to pay off loans that they got in order to study or that they want the job security (or perception of it) that will allow them to have an active (or glamorous) social life (after-work) or even better, start a family?
Well, these are merely some thoughts, or some food for thought (comments welcome), on why should young people "waste" their acumen in competing with others to "win" a job instead of competing with other others to "win" a client or consumer for the products or services that their own (mini) company could "gain". Why waste good competitive energy to lure a recruiter instead of luring a client? Why not view Corporation X as a potential client rather than an employer? Is (real or at least more) security to be found nowadays in having a job or clientele?
PS. Some countries actively recognise the fact that medium, small and mini/micro companies are more "sensitive" (exposed) to over-regulation and red tape/bureaucracy. Others think that by simply offering people who start their own small business some start up funds is (kind of) enough to get them started! Very few do both, too few. Most politicians, IMO, do not really know what it really takes to start a company. Actually, no one really knows, even people who have started their own or advised others on how to, because, IMO/IME, every new "start up" is a different "endeavour" with its own characteristics and risks, yes risks, and its own "magic". But who turns into company creation for "magic", it seems most people these days think that "magic" is to be found in sports or other more "imaginative" things than "starting a company". IMO that is the core problem.