Big Picture lecture January 11th Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley
Young people and the economic crisis in the King William Building Room 002, University of Greenwich
The current economic crisis has intensified the difficulties faced by young people in securing decent employment. Record numbers are without work, while many more have either given up searching or have withdrawn from the labour market – ‘hiding out’ in the hope that things can only improve. In addition, as increasing numbers, particularly graduates, find they are ‘overqualified and underemployed’ – stuck in jobs that fall well short of their expectations; schools, colleges and universities will continue to lose legitimacy, as a generation considers it has been short changed. Finally, as rents rise and mortgages become increasingly unobtainable, young people’s situation has become yet more precarious,
Martin Allen and Patrick Ainley are authors of Education make you fick, innit? (2007, Tufnell Press) Lost Generation? New Strategies for Youth and Education (2010, Continuum Books) and more recently, the e-pamphlet Why young people can’t get the jobs they want and what can be done about it (www.radicaled.wordpress.com). Drawing on arguments contained in these sources, on current research and analysis and against a background of inner-city riots and student demonstrations, the presentation will examine whether the ‘lost generation’ is able to find its way.
Other recent observations from Martin on the present situation facing young people include:
“Meanwhile, growing numbers of young people no longer see education as a way forward to productive and meaningful lives. Instead, formal learning (and teaching) becomes performance and pretence.”