We seem to be in a tight cramp right now. An aging population that some say are soon to become a financial burden on younger generations, and a mounting high youth unemployment rate, (by varying degrees in many countries); raising the heat on the political agenda for more job creation and pension reform. From the UK to Greece, Italy and Spain this summer, the concern about a “youth jobs strategy” has raised questions but with few small answers.
The temperature of concern on this issue may be higher in Europe, but not much less in the US and Canada where the texture of the discussion may be different. A significant number of 50 and 60 year olds are saying they need or want to work longer. What will their “participation rate” in the job market really be down the road? And will that block job openings for younger people?
Where and how are we going to dig up all these jobs? The strategy will have to be of a broader vision and maybe we need to re-gear our approaches to “austerity measures”, “cut backs”, and corporations holding on to their money. We also should take a long hard look at how we are communicating with younger people about realistic expectations for future work.
Calling all generations! Collaboratively we have to look at how we are going to “work differently” and look at what kind of work will really matter for our common future. It won’t be a quick fix.