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The Government's new Youth Contract: what do you think?

(164 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-Nov-11 12:04:51


You may have seen/heard that Nick Clegg has announced today a £1billion Youth Contract to tackle youth unemployment.

The Youth Contract includes, among other things, subsidised work and training placements, and a programme to help the most disengaged 16 and 17-year-olds get back to school or college, onto an apprenticeship or into a job with training. You can read more about it here.

The Cabinet Office has just been in touch with us at MNHQ to ask us what Mumsnetters think about these plans. So we've said we'll start a thread to find out.

Please do tell!

swallowedAfly Tue 29-Nov-11 08:01:33

it's 4 year thinking isn't it? again and again. all scheming their next spin bollocks election campaign while all around rome burns.

grendel my sister is fluent in french and german, has worked doing legal translations and in various specialised industries so extremely skilled language wise and very at ease with dealing with technical language etc. she's also looking for a career change after leaving a very big company to go out on her own free lancing for a while. mid 40's, highly experienced, has worked in other european capitals and very, very good with people. can i send her to you?

because weirdly those who do have these skills find it very hard to find work that makes use of them here in england. easy when they are living overseas but she has struggled to find anything of the same level of skill use as she had in paris.

sorry - random tangent.

and yes it is utter madness in a climate where we don't have enough unskilled labour to go round to be cutting HE budgets and discouraging most young people from going into HE. maybe they should consider ways to encourage HE in particular subjects/skill areas and incentivise kids to go into them and get industry on side too in playing it's part in contributing towards the training of the labour it will use whether that be through financial contributions, sponsorship or providing high quality training placements for students.

swallowedAfly Tue 29-Nov-11 08:04:56

her other friend who had a similar education and work experience through his 20's with a successful career with a big company in germany has now ended up as a modern foreign languages teacher. my sis has even found herself contemplating doing the same for a secure (albeit reduced) income. neither of them upon returning to england with family commitments could find any real suitable/equable employment in the uk which came as a big shock to me because surely we have to do big business with european countries and we don't expect them constantly to be working in english? it's weird.

realhousewife Tue 29-Nov-11 08:45:22

I'm bilingual German and used to find that whenever I talked to Germans they spoke better English than me so didn't get the opportunity to use it. I found that jobs using my language skills were poorly paid because they tended to use less demanding German workers, usually young and with no commitments.

But German has a 'business language' that is quite distinct to the conversational and literary language that we learn here at in school and in my case, at home.

swallowedAfly Tue 29-Nov-11 09:34:35

yes it's all very specialised isn't it? i appreciate that from talking to my sister. she worked for a massive legal firm and it's obviously a whole language of it's own and there is no room for error when you are translating legal documents that hundreds of thousands of pounds could rest on shock

glad you back up that it's hard to use language skills here realhouse - it sounds like it should be such a great skill but it isn't much rewarded in this country.

realhousewife Tue 29-Nov-11 09:46:25

I don't think it's rewarded here because Germans get the better training, so get all the jobs (when it comes to specialised stuff) and UK businesses have relied on German businesses speaking our language. Another issue with Germany is that the East Germans all learnt Russian as a second language, so when doing business in the old East you really do need to know their language. Much of the manufacturing goes on in the old East, and the older generation (probably now the managers of those businesses) will be dependent on other people speaking german to them.

swallowedAfly Tue 29-Nov-11 10:02:29

i guess it's a vicious circle. my sisters main language (because of living there for over a decade) is french and she can find very little in this country. i suspect there's not the job market and there's not the skills are linked very closely. the skills aren't really going to come up if there aren't good jobs out there for the taking to make it worth investing in the skills (eg HE choices) and the jobs aren't likely to come up if there aren't skilled natives to take them - they'll find ways round it like employing from overseas or yes, relying on their contacts to work in english confused

this is a bit of a detour sorry - interesting stuff though thereal.

Betelguese Tue 29-Nov-11 10:46:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Betelguese Tue 29-Nov-11 10:57:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swallowedAfly Tue 29-Nov-11 11:36:21

i (upon dropping out of my a'levels when i had a lot going on as a teen and before returning to academic study later) got myself on a course to do business admin and typing and wordprocessing skills. it was a ten week course and there was a scheme out then whereby i got paid £40pw to do it. i was about 16/17 and living at home so it was doable financially - just enough money to pay my bus fares and lunches and the odd pack of ciggies etc and feel like i had money in my pocket and i was doing real, practical, transferrable qualifications that would put something real under my belt at the end.

that, for me, at that time was good. that would be an answer for some. the agency that did the training was above an employment agency for young people with the same management and they then got kids into work if they could after. a private enterprise but getting some training money from a scheme and we got the money from whatever the payment scheme was back in the early nineties.

that is a very, very different matter than being told you have to go stack shelves at tescos for 2 months with no qualifications or recognised skills or a job coming out of it at the end.

swallowedAfly Tue 29-Nov-11 11:38:13

actually we would have still been in near recession times then wouldn't we? and yet there were jobs for us to go to - even if constant rounds of typing/data entry/filing etc.

GrendelsMum Tue 29-Nov-11 17:51:24

I think Realhousewife makes a good point about the generation who learnt Russian rather than English at school - we find you only have to have one person around the table during a sales presentation who feels their business English is a bit patchy, before the group as a whole are extremely chuffed that you can present in German instead. And there are plenty of people who feel pissed off enough if they've got a problem with the product they've bought, without having to explain it in a foreign language.

I know just what you mean about the use of young cheap Germans to do the jobs which need purely language skills, though. It's when you need language skills plus other stuff that it gets tricky.

realhousewife Wed 30-Nov-11 22:13:17

SAF that sounds like a really good scheme you were on. Colleges should be linked in with employers. It makes the college more accountable, ensuring they turn out kids that know the meaning of timekeeping etc, and gives the business a better reputation.

swallowedAfly Thu 01-Dec-11 09:43:44

the business was called " 'X' commercial training" and the agency downstairs was called starting off. it was quite an efficient thing they had going on actually being able to feed each other business/candidates. and despite going on to do post grad study etc i will NEVER regret learning to type and some basic computing smile

realhousewife Thu 01-Dec-11 11:41:35

Mine was 'The Television Typing Centre' in Oxford Street. Learnt to type in 2 weeks and was never short of work. Different skills require now though. Those were the days... manual typewriters and an ashtray on every desk.

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