Napoleon Bonaparte once said that England was a nation of shopkeepers. He may have been right, but if he was here today he would probably state that England (or the United Kingdom) is a nation of salespeople.
According to the Coalition government, over a million new jobs have been created in the private sector. This is good for the government because they don’t have to create jobs with public money, and it makes out that their economic policies are working. However, their economic polices are not working (as is explained in my previous post), and what are these mysterious million jobs that have appeared? Well as someone who is currently unemployed I can report that these jobs are largely zero hour contracts (which has been talked about in the mainstream media), and sales jobs.
Not everyone can sell, and some people are not comfortable selling door to door as the majority of people have some hostility towards cold callers, but if you go on one of the many job websites on the internet, you will find that the majority of jobs on there are outbound, cold calling, sales jobs from new companies that don’t have much information about them. Not only would I feel uncomfortable selling door to door, but I also would not feel too thrilled about working for a company that could be about to go bust at any minute. Two companies that I had interviews with told me that I would be a manager in five to six months, and that they were expanding their offices across North America and Europe (they are currently based in a backstreet of Manchester). Being the cynic that I am, I politely declined the offer, for fear of being in that job for a number of weeks before it was closed down (the unpaid Council Tax bill on display at the manager’s office didn’t fill me with confidence).
It seems to me that the Con-Dem government are perfectly happy with a population employed in low-skilled jobs, on minimum wage, with competitive cold calling being the only way to make ends meet. How could you be comfortable with that? The right wing politicians are forever going on about making Britain ‘Great’ again, but a demoralized, poor population does not make any society great. I am not proposing that we re-open the coal-pits and factories of the 19th Century, but what I am suggesting is that the education system is changed in order to teach skills to those who want them.
If a child at sixteen wants to go in to a trade, then make sure that the facilities are there to make him or her the best plumber, electrician, or builder that they can be. It seems fruitless to keep them in education for a further two years in order to pass an exam looking at the theme’s in Shakespeare’s latter works, because if someone doesn’t want to study, then they won’t, and they shall leave with a bad grade, instead of some much sought-after skills.
Of course, the numeracy and literacy does need to be improved across the U.K, but surely this is something that needs to be addressed in the early years of education? Much like learning a new language, it is far harder to teach an 18 year old basic maths and English, than it is at primary school.
But for the mean time, if you are like me and unemployed, and have an education, you can either hope that you had a rich distant relative who has included you in their will so you can further your study, or you can go door to door and try and sell broadband from an unknown ‘local company’, and when all that’s been sold, I’m sure there will be some other non-essential product that needs shifting, or not.