Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Young Ones

So last week I heard the news that Iain Duncan Smith wants to introduce incentives for the unemployed to relocate and seek work elsewhere in order to redistribute unemployment so people can break out from the "ghettos of poverty."
Now I'm aware of Ed Balls tirade against this, the similarities drawn with the old "get on your bike" Tory comment and how this proposal poses difficulties for those who have families and the uncertainty of keeping a job after you've got one. But when considering Duncan Smith's idea, people only seem to be thinking of it in terms of how it will affect those middle aged folks who have been unemployed for a long period of time, and have a council house to lose and a family to consider. No one at all looks at how this could possibly benefit the unemployed youths who are on the scrapheap, not even Duncan Smith himself.
As you're probably aware after visiting this blog, I'm 21 and have been unemployed since leaving college a year ago. It looks to me that it is fucking hopeless out there. I live on a council estate in Surrey which is plagued with underage pregnancy and unemployment. A majority of the people who I went to school with who live here follow an all too familiar pattern of leaving school without GCSEs or with very bad results, getting pregnant/a girl pregnant, and can be seen frequenting the streets having arguments with their partners , pushing their forever multiplying children in their pushchairs, whilst they walk with the generation before them who did the exact same thing. Now I'll take the opportunity here to point out that these people probably aren't trying to look for work, and have chosen unemployment and claim benefits as a lifestyle choice. However, I haven't. And I'm stuck here.
I look for jobs every working day as no one ever posts ads on a weekend. If you find ten new jobs in Leatherhead a week, you're lucky. You're even luckier if you find something you can actually do. At this point after a year of job searching, the only job I've been able to apply for and get an interview for in my home town was that one at Surrey County Council, and they called me last week to say I was unsuccessful. Of course I've widened my job search as far as Kingston one way and Guildford the other, and I've already bitched to you about the having a degree / working unpaid dilemma, and the seldom responses I get back from my applications, so I won't reiterate the extent of the job search frustration I have encountered. One thing I have noticed however when I look outside of my traveling limits is that there is a preponderantly more jobs in the direction of London. I live about 10 miles outside of what is officially considered London and I'm around 45 minutes away from Waterloo. To secure a job I would happily travel for 45 minutes or more, but I am stuck for there is no way I could afford the train fare.
The jobs I am referring to include your generic retail work and bar work. Shops always seem to be hiring at Westfield's and the like and in multiple bars. I must have sent about a hundred applications to different shops by now, and none of them have ever got back to me. They still may not get back to me in London, but at least the opportunities are not as few and far between.
As for bar work in my area, I would have to travel to get there, and that poses as an issue when you have to work late shifts as my last bus and trains would clash with the closing, leaving me stranded or having to permanently take residence at a mate's. If I could be relocated however, this would be solved.
It's not like my aspirations lie in bar and shop work for the rest of my life. But without a degree, and maybe even with one for that matter, I'm going to have to graft. There aren't opportunities for me in Leatherhead, and I need to make money to be able to travel outside of here, or maybe take driving lessons, get a car, and sort it out that way. The problem is that I can't seem to get a job at anything, anywhere. To start making something of myself, I need a bit of money behind me. At least a bit of bloody dosh just to be able to support myself finally.
So what if they got a bunch of people my age who are in a similar position, who want to work and make something of themselves but are struggling to get something in their area, and chuck us all into rented accommodation somewhere where there is more work? Obviously there's the issue of a deposit and if all the residents could find work in time for the next rent due date. So maybe a bunch of us should be given options of where we can relocate to. You pick a place that you can comfortably travel to from your current place of residence, receiving help with travel money if you don't have enough, and start applying to jobs. If you get an interview, you go. If you get the job, you get to move in.
I'm not saying this is flawless, but I believe it's workable. It would help me massively, whether I was relocated somewhere in London or just moved 35 minutes up the road to Surbiton.
After all, this estate terrifies me. I can see what it's done to generations of people. They fester in the ennui of this place. All I've thought about since I can remember is getting out, before I become disillusioned enough to drown with the

No comments:

Post a Comment