UKC

A bleak Perspective (Reality?) On The Current Job Figures...

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 RomTheBear 21 Oct 2014
In reply to Timmd:

Unfortunately the reality is very visible in income tax receipts. Despite the boost in employment they have not gone up as most of the new jobs are not paying enough for income tax to be paid.

Many of my friends are in their early 30s, all of them postgraduate educated but working in low skills jobs in call centres and cafes... No hope to ever buy a house, or afford to have kids, or even to buy a car. A bit depressing...
 ByEek 21 Oct 2014
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Many of my friends are in their early 30s, all of them postgraduate educated but working in low skills jobs in call centres and cafes... No hope to ever buy a house, or afford to have kids, or even to buy a car. A bit depressing...

Yet in the IT world, we are desperate for people to come through the system. I worked for a company that placed a world wide advert for software developers. The only bites we got were from East Asia!
 Scarab9 21 Oct 2014
In reply to ByEek:

> Yet in the IT world, we are desperate for people to come through the system. I worked for a company that placed a world wide advert for software developers. The only bites we got were from East Asia!

Might be different at your place, but our pretty small IT company (dev and support) pays shite and expects someone so perfect for the job that they'd basically have to be longterm staff already and and with every qualification under the sun. Totally doesn't happen.
 Offwidth 21 Oct 2014
In reply to RomTheBear:

A lot of well paid jobs have seen wage growth well below inflation, so its not just the lowest paid causing this.

Did you see the Milburn article on the under 30s?:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/18/under-30s-priced-out-of-uk-alan-milburn



In reply to Timmd:

It's a pity the angle is so partisan as there are some reasonable points in there. Some of the changes have been brutul for those at the bottom of the heap and low wage jobs are not what is needed. However, starting an answer with "It is clear that the Coalition/Tories have created a determined propaganda campaign ..." hardly suggests an objective point of view so it's difficult to put much stock in the rest of it. I also find the sneering attitude to waiters unpleasant, done well it is a skilled job and I don't see why there shouldn't be an apprentice scheme for it.
 BnB 21 Oct 2014
In reply to Scarab9:

> Might be different at your place, but our pretty small IT company (dev and support) pays shite and expects someone so perfect for the job that they'd basically have to be longterm staff already and and with every qualification under the sun. Totally doesn't happen.

Amazingly, some firms still operate under the illusion that there is a recession in the IT jobs market and consequently fail to hire anyone or treat their staff appropriately, as you are witnessing and experiencing yourself. Yet the IT jobs markets is in the most active state since 1998 (16 years!!) Update your cv and do yourself a favour. PM me if you want to discuss in private.
 ByEek 21 Oct 2014
In reply to Scarab9:

> Might be different at your place, but our pretty small IT company (dev and support) pays shite and expects someone so perfect for the job that they'd basically have to be longterm staff already and and with every qualification under the sun. Totally doesn't happen.

Yeah - I have interviewed at places like that. Wouldn't take that sort of job with a barge poll. Recently turned down a job at Lloyds Banking Group. Amazing package, but the job was basically managing a bunch of overseas developers. Great pay. Sh1t work. No thanks.
 RomTheBear 21 Oct 2014
In reply to ByEek:

> Yet in the IT world, we are desperate for people to come through the system. I worked for a company that placed a world wide advert for software developers. The only bites we got were from East Asia!

Yes, I know, I am one of the lucky one as I work in IT myself. It's pretty much impossible to recruit good software engineers at least here in Scotland, as a result we have to recruit in southern Europe.
 marsbar 21 Oct 2014
In reply to RomTheBear:

I don't mean to be rude, but do any of them have post graduate qualifications in anything useful?
 ByEek 21 Oct 2014
In reply to marsbar:

It's a fair point.
 RomTheBear 21 Oct 2014
In reply to marsbar:

> I don't mean to be rude, but do any of them have post graduate qualifications in anything useful?

Some yes, some not. The point is they are definitely smart people who could definitely do something higher value than answering the phone or serving coffee for the minimum wage.
 ByEek 21 Oct 2014
In reply to RomTheBear:
> Some yes, some not. The point is they are definitely smart people who could definitely do something higher value than answering the phone or serving coffee for the minimum wage.

True - but skilled jobs require specific skills. Do they have these skills or not? If not then said skills either need to be acquired or if these people are as bright as you say, they should surely walk into a graduate recruitment programme with ease?

The idea that you get a degree and then just walk into the first graduate type job that comes along is a myth. You are selling your skills and time. If you only have the time and not the skills, you are going to struggle. Sadly, most people have potential, but that isn't what employers are looking for.
Post edited at 09:34
 galpinos 21 Oct 2014
In reply to ByEek:

> Yet in the IT world, we are desperate for people to come through the system.

Same in engineering. We are increasingly having to look abroad despite offering a good opportunity and a decent starting salary.
 Scarab9 21 Oct 2014
In reply to BnB:

Thanks for the offer. I'm sort of the exception st our place though so am alright. I made myself indispensable, proved my worth, got lucky with them v much needing me, and have a cushy job as well as knowing I can make good money freelancing as I did for a while.

Its the poor buggers they interview who offered peanuts I feel sorry for
 RomTheBear 21 Oct 2014
In reply to ByEek:
> True - but skilled jobs require specific skills. Do they have these skills or not? If not then said skills either need to be acquired or if these people are as bright as you say, they should surely walk into a graduate recruitment programme with ease?

> The idea that you get a degree and then just walk into the first graduate type job that comes along is a myth. You are selling your skills and time. If you only have the time and not the skills, you are going to struggle. Sadly, most people have potential, but that isn't what employers are looking for.

Well yes, but then you need to have a system in place to make sure that the vast majority of people with average of slightly above average abilities can access the right skills instead of contenting ourselves to park them in low skills low pay jobs that typically are there to serve a (shrinking and slowly disappearing) middle class. Admittedly it's better than having no jobs, but still we are wasting a generation of talents for short term economic efficiencies.
Post edited at 10:29
 BazVee 21 Oct 2014
In reply to Timmd:

Interesting to read the link, I have the same view on apprenticeships. They used to be a training programme to create highly skilled and competent craftsmen, now they are a tool to allow companies, offering unskilled positions bar-person, stock room assistant and other at best semi skilled positions, to avoid paying the minimum wage.
In reply to MG:

But it is clear that the government have had a concerted propaganda campaign, it would be preposterous to think they would do anything else. That isn't partisan, it is the reality of the democracy we live in.
 ByEek 21 Oct 2014
In reply to RomTheBear:

A fair argument and I don't really know what the answer is. However I do wonder if expectations play a big part. When we had full employment in a manufacturing economy, there were never voices of descent worrying about the fact that the thousands of people working in the factories were wasting a generation of talent to serve the (shrinking) industrialists.

We are now in a service economy and unsurprisingly the bulk of jobs out there are low skilled service sector jobs. But now, we are concerned that the people in those jobs are wasting their talents.

So men shoveling coal = good. Men / women serving coffee = bad.

Something has to give.
In reply to MG:

> However, starting an answer with "It is clear that the Coalition/Tories have created a determined propaganda campaign ..." hardly suggests an objective point of view so it's difficult to put much stock in the rest of it.

It could also be true.

In reply to The New NickB:

, it would be preposterous to think they would do anything else.

So thinking, for example, that the government is trying to get public finances in order after the most severe financial crises for decades and that unfortunately some people are going to severely affected by the the process is preposterous is it? Or thinking that dubiously competent second rank ministers have failed to come up with a process for encouraging people to work that doesn't unfairly affect some is preposterous?

If your starting point is that "they" are out to get you, I suppose everything looks like propaganda.
In reply to MG:
> It's a pity the angle is so partisan as there are some reasonable points in there. Some of the changes have been brutul for those at the bottom of the heap and low wage jobs are not what is needed. However, starting an answer with "It is clear that the Coalition/Tories have created a determined propaganda campaign ..."

I took it to be coloured from having spent a long time working in job centre, and seeing the reality behind the figures. Though I don't suppose they'd be any different from other government, in using a degree of spin, or being selective with what they tell the public. There seems to be a similarity with business in some ways, I think, when the party in power selectively tells people what's required to give a good impression. I should say I'm not anti business though.

>hardly suggests an objective point of view so it's difficult to put much stock in the rest of it. I also find the sneering attitude to waiters unpleasant, done well it is a skilled job and I don't see why there shouldn't be an apprentice scheme for it.

Do you think it's sneering? I just took to be making the (unsaid) point that the increase wasn't in things like engineering and sectors upon which a solid economy can be built. Certainly I'd always assumed the increase in apprenticeships was in things like engineering etc, rebalancing the economy away from the service sector.
Post edited at 10:54
In reply to Timmd:
Certainly I'd always assumed the increase in apprenticeships was in things like engineering etc, rebalancing the economy away from the service sector.

Yes, it was sneering - "Fantastic! Britain now has a time served coffee shop worker ..." is clearly unpleasantly sarcastic.

Given that a large chunk of Britain's exports are in the service sector (engineering design, architecture, IT, education), I don't think we want to rebalance away from that. The problem is/was to much finance, I think.
In reply to MG:

It's not a fat lot of use for the long term growth of the economy, though, is it?

Not when compared to apprenticeships in other sectors.
In reply to MG:
Do you honestly think being taught how to serve people efficiently and nicely in a coffee shop is what the general public thinks of, when they hear that the number of apprenticeships has gone up?

It makes a difference when one goes for coffee, but that sort of thing can be learnt in around a week or two.

'Come to the UK for a cup of coffee, we're making the economy strong again' ???
=
Post edited at 11:07
In reply to Timmd:

Well I would assume apprenticeships cover all practical jobs - hair-dressing, dry-stone walling, engineering technicians and yes serving in restaurants and coffee shops. They are all part of the economy. The attitude that waiting is a job just for 16 year olds in the evenings is very English and explains why service is often so crap- the French or Italians take things more seriously. Why is someone doing a waiting apprenticeship for year, learning about how to run a cafe, then starting their own business paying taxes and employing other people not something worth supporting?

None of which is to say these posts aren't sometimes abused by employers
In reply to MG:

> If your starting point is that "they" are out to get you, I suppose everything looks like propaganda.

Think you must be addressing the wrong person.
In reply to MG:
They are worth supporting.

The talk from the coalition has been specifically 'about' rebalancing the economy more towards manufacturing, which is the context in which the increase in apprenticeships is mentioned.

Which means they are being rather misleading by 'not' talking about the coffee shop apprenticeships, which is possibly why the author isn't so enthusiastic, I would suggest.
Post edited at 11:17
 ByEek 21 Oct 2014
In reply to Timmd:
> It makes a difference when one goes for coffee, but that sort of thing can be learnt in around a week or two.

I think we are getting a bit bleary eyed about the past. Most of the manufacturing work we seem to hark back to was unskilled back breaking work. Before we had container ships, all dockers used to do was pick stuff up and carry it off the ship and carry it into a warehouse. You only have to go to a mill museum to see that the work was dull and repetitive... like working in a coffee shop. Yet somehow, the later is bad and the former was good. How does that figure? Why is working in a coffee shop somehow a bad thing yet working down a pit or in a mill something to be aspired to?
Post edited at 11:22
 Offwidth 21 Oct 2014
In reply to ByEek:

Its not rose tinted and its nothing to do with past practices to encourage a more balanced economy by favouring the making of money out of making things. Almost every other major economy does a better job of this encouragement than we do.
In reply to ByEek:
It's got nothing at all to do with that mate.

The talk from Osbourne has been about rebalancing the economy towards manufacturing, then he's mentioned manufacturing going up (until that stopped), and he's mentioned the number of apprenticeships increasing too.

It doesn't take a lot of brain work to see that Osbourne has wanted the impression to be that the increase in apprenticeships is helping to rebalance the economy towards manufacturing, which is helping things to grow solidly and that everything will be find and dandy thanks to his and the other people in the coalition's good work.

Yet, somehow, in talking about propaganda, keeping in mind that when somebody is serving an apprenticeship they're not classified as being un employed, the job centre staff is being partisan, in talking about coffee shop apprenticeships, and how the figures don't show the whole picture ?
Post edited at 11:37
 BnB 21 Oct 2014
In reply to ByEek:

Because a mill made something, it added value, which was often then exported to trading partners overseas. Obviously something of more benefit to the overall economy than the reshuffling of wealth in exchange for temporary rental of a seat and the consumption of a beverage.

What this viewpoint ignores however is the necessity of cheap labour for the apparent value to be added. And the associated social cost which you rightly point out.

Nothing's ever simple, not least the conflation of the term "service economy" with the percolation of coffee. My business is in the service economy. We don't make anything, but we do help other businesses to design, produce, market or distribute their products more efficiently, thereby creating wealth ( or reduced wastage depending at which stage our efforts bear fruit) and we do sell to manyu overseas customers, bringing money into the UK "for free".
 ByEek 21 Oct 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

True. But to make money making money is simply about adding value. Whether you add value by assembling components or selling skills, it is sort of irrelevant. This argument is about the fact that there are a lot of jobs that don't particularly appeal to people. In the past, many people's lives were mapped out for them from birth. We now supposedly have a choice, but the reality is that things haven't changed that much. I think our problem is one of expectation.
 RomTheBear 21 Oct 2014
In reply to Timmd:
We are creating an army of low paid over-qualified service workers on low skills jobs so that the middle class which has seen its wages shrink can keep consuming at a relatively reasonable price.
This does boost the economy and employment for a while, but for how long and at what social price ? What happens when all the people with the high value jobs retire ?
Post edited at 11:54
 Offwidth 21 Oct 2014
In reply to ByEek:

If making money out of money looks more volatile by the year encouraging manufacturing (in its widest sense including software, IP etc) is a sensible rebalance to a distorted economy. There is nothing magic in the value it adds in itself.
 ByEek 21 Oct 2014
In reply to Offwidth:

Agreed. But there seems to be an undertone on this thread that says working in a coffee shop is the problem. I agree financial services are volatile, but if the world flocks to London to use the financial services we offer, is that such a bad thing? If we don't offer those services, someone else will.
 BazVee 21 Oct 2014
In reply to ByEek:

> Agreed. But there seems to be an undertone on this thread that says working in a coffee shop is the problem..

Its not the working in a coffee shop that is a problem but to dress up learning how to make a cup of coffee or pour a pint of beer or work in a stock room and a load of unskilled jobs as an apprenticeship is what is wrong. If you have a look at the detail many of these apprenticeships are for a year and guess what for the first year of an apprenticeship regardless of age an employer can ignore the minimum wage and pay a paltry £2.73 per hour. before completely condemning this as a scam, I would like to know how much training these apprentices actually do, both on site and off site (i.e. at a place of further education). I know one poster suggested that being an apprentice waitress might lead to running their own business, but I am rather sceptical about the whole thing.

Oh and I was an apprentice once, started in 1979 in the shipbuilding industry learnt high craft skills to a high level of competency before being the understudy to a number of craftsmen to hone those skills, took 4 years and was done in parallel with day release/evening classes to HNC level.
 RomTheBear 21 Oct 2014
In reply to ByEek:
> Agreed. But there seems to be an undertone on this thread that says working in a coffee shop is the problem. I agree financial services are volatile, but if the world flocks to London to use the financial services we offer, is that such a bad thing? If we don't offer those services, someone else will.

The problem is not working in a coffee shop the problem is working in a coffee shop and earn 6.50 an hour, for most of your life.
Boosting employment and the economy with low paid jobs is not necessarily a bad thing on the short term but clearly not sustainable on the long term, as some point there just won't be enough people able to afford to buy that coffee and no skills left in our different industries.

Investment is the key really, in education, skills, new businesses, research... After all the world is not running out of problems to solve as far as I am aware of.
Post edited at 17:27
In reply to RomTheBear:
> Investment is the key really, in education, skills, new businesses, research... After all the world is not running out of problems to solve as far as I am aware of.

That's fine but the OP was about government "propaganda" about the job market and in particular Job Centres and apprenticeships. It is only rarely that someone on an apprenticeship scheme will subsequently solve a major global problem, however many will, given the right support, go on to contribute in valuable ways to the economy (which includes running coffee shops). I don't think apprenticeships should be dismissed simply because they aren't metal bashing ones.
Post edited at 17:33
 BazVee 21 Oct 2014
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The problem is not working in a coffee shop the problem is working in a coffee shop and earn 6.50 an hour, for most of your life.

That's assumes it is £6.50 an hour if you take a look at the minimum wage rates apprentices in their first year get £2.73. Now if at the end of the apprenticeship they get laid off, so that another apprentice can be given the opportunity then the pay rate for working in a coffee shop will be kept artificially low. I can't be sure that this happens but my cynical head says there is a strong possibility.
 RomTheBear 21 Oct 2014
In reply to BazVee:
> That's assumes it is £6.50 an hour if you take a look at the minimum wage rates apprentices in their first year get £2.73. Now if at the end of the apprenticeship they get laid off, so that another apprentice can be given the opportunity then the pay rate for working in a coffee shop will be kept artificially low. I can't be sure that this happens but my cynical head says there is a strong possibility.

Well it probably does. This is mostly a matter of a having a clear policy that forbids apprenticeships for low skills jobs, and enforcing it. But we barely manage to enforce the minimum wage so we're not there yet I am afraid.
Post edited at 17:41
 BazVee 21 Oct 2014
In reply to MG:

> however many will, given the right support, go on to contribute in valuable ways to the economy (which includes running coffee shops). I don't think apprenticeships should be dismissed simply because they aren't metal bashing ones.

I agree apprenticeships should reflect demand for current skills. The key word of course being skills. I suppose it depends upon how far you wish to dress things up. I am sure it would take me a while, not long, to get the hang of using a coffee machine and till, but that doesn't make what we would have called an unskilled position into a skilled one.

I am still interested to hear what a modern apprentice in a lower grade coffee shop or other retail position gets in the way of training both on and off site. Does anyone have any first hand experience
In reply to BazVee:


> I am still interested to hear what a modern apprentice in a lower grade coffee shop or other retail position gets in the way of training both on and off site. Does anyone have any first hand experience

Yes, it would be nice think it covered business aspects, coffee supply and purchases, H+S law to do with running shops, etc etc. That they may often be simply a way of getting cheap staff is a concern but not one specific to coffee shops.

 RomTheBear 21 Oct 2014
In reply to MG:

> That's fine but the OP was about government "propaganda" about the job market and in particular Job Centres and apprenticeships. It is only rarely that someone on an apprenticeship scheme will subsequently solve a major global problem, however many will, given the right support, go on to contribute in valuable ways to the economy (which includes running coffee shops). I don't think apprenticeships should be dismissed simply because they aren't metal bashing ones.

I wasn't talking necessarily about world changing world global problems, it could be anything really.
Sure we'll always need people making coffees but it would be preferable to our economy that these jobs are taken by students trying to make a bit of cash, someone trying to make ends meet before getting a another jobs, or people who simply do it because they have a share in the business.

But putting people who have masters degree there and then leave them in such positions for most of their life is just a waste of human capital.
In reply to MG:

The point is, many of these 'apprenticeships' are not delivering the sort of skills that will make the apprentices valuable members of the workforce. They are often very short, with very limited college time or on the job training, the very things that justify the low wages.
 squarepeg 21 Oct 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

spot on.
In reply to BazVee:
> Interesting to read the link, I have the same view on apprenticeships. They used to be a training programme to create highly skilled and competent craftsmen, now they are a tool to allow companies, offering unskilled positions bar-person, stock room assistant and other at best semi skilled positions, to avoid paying the minimum wage.

It does seem quite like that. It feels like the voting public is being had, if they only go on the sound bites they hear on the radio and things while eating breakfast and things.

I only chanced across it on facebook.
Post edited at 21:12
 Offwidth 22 Oct 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

I thought there were several important points in the original link. The over aggresive use of sanctions to cut unemployment (if you are sanctioned you are off the list) the use of sanctions to force people to take shit zhc jobs (these can be for undefined hours with exclusivity, hence preventing you taking other scheduled work to fill the gap). The use of apprentiships to dishonestly replace real vacancies. The quality of training in apprentiships being unsuitable for the role (in some, including some coffee shops, its very poor and no different to normal first time employee induction) It's a shame they found someone from a political perspective that so strongly dislikes the coalition and also is so inexperienced they are unaware of zhcs that have been aroumd a good deal longer than 2 years but the issues in those points should not be happening.

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