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Britain In Grip Of 'generational Pay Gap', With Graduates Stuck In Jobs Serving Coffee As Baristas

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Telegraph 5/9/14

'Britain is in the grip of a “generational pay gap” with graduates stuck in jobs serving coffee as baristas, Britain’s top union official has warned.

Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, also criticised a “Marie Antoinette” attitude among ministers who expected ordinary people to “keep taking cuts in their real standard of living”.

In an interview ahead of the organisation's conference early next week, Miss O’Grady said the economic recovery was confined to the service sector, where wages were traditionally low.

This meant that large numbers of graduates “who have worked hard, studied hard, now in debt were having to take jobs which are well below their talent”.

Older people, who have benefited from cheaper property prices and well-funded pensions, were far better off than younger generations. She said: “There is this new problem for Britain – this generational pay gap and everything that means.”

She added: “Many young people will end up as a barista when in the past would have ended up in a manufacturing job – high quality, high value, good prospects.

“The real problem here is that getting a job is no longer enough. It is the kind of jobs. Where we’ve seen real jobs growth is in low paid areas like hospitality, tourism, the sorts of areas where young people are more likely to work, but paid low wages.

“The problem is that increasingly young people are getting stuck in those jobs.

“Whereas it used to be a second job before school or college. This is supposed to be your career. And it doesn’t look like a very bright future for a whole generation.”

Next week’s annual Trades Union Conference will be dominated by concerns about declining living standards, and getting bigger pay rises for workers.

The highlight will be a speech by Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, followed by a question and answer session with delegates.

She said there was “a touch of the Marie Antoinette” among members of the Government when it came to understanding ordinary people’s concerns.

She said: “I don’t personally care what background people come from and I recognise that we all have different experiences.

“But it does seem to me to be a failure of imagination to think that ordinary working people can keep taking pay cuts year after year. And that that is going to have an impact not just on household budgets but on the communities we live in and how our children are raised.”

Miss O’Grady added: “The idea that people can keep taking cuts in their real standard of living, keep dipping into ever shrinking savings and getting into debt again… is just fantasy.

“I really think some politicians need to get real and understand most of us don’t have an inheritance to rely on.

“Most people have very few savings. Most of us are not living the high life but we do want to live a decent life and bring up a family. With the price of transport, childcare, food bills, it’s getting tougher and tougher.”'

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There is a disconnect between what skills are needed and what skills students are learning at university. Students need to look at what skills are needed before they decide what they are going to study. I did this and it has worked out quite well for me.

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I have said it before and will say it again, the TUC are a ******ing disgrace.

They were the first to jump on the bandwagon (with the government) to support and embed the supply of migrant labour to big companies, they are ******ing hypocrits now with their crocodile tears for a youth mired in shit jobs and lack of opportunities.

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There is a disconnect between what skills are needed and what skills students are learning at university. Students need to look at what skills are needed before they decide what they are going to study. I did this and it has worked out quite well for me.

Agreed. And well played btw.

Although even then, how many professions are there with a shortage of graduates?

Everyone could suddenly start studying the "right" subjects, but I'm not convinced that would suddenly see everyone find a job as there will only ever be so many to go around at post uni level.

Edited by byron78

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The majority of people shouldn't even be going to university.

Again agreed.

But it's pretty obvious why they are isn't it?

Roll the dice and go to uni, find a trade (if you're lucky - this usually involves a family "in" as well), or work around minimum wage forever.

Lack of job progression without a degree, the working class being dumped on benefits and replaced by immigrants, and manufacturing being revolutionised by machines and computing have all played a part.

Too many people are going to uni, but not one of our political master class is addressing the "why"?

Edited by byron78

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Agreed. And well played btw.

Although even then, how many professions are there with a shortage of graduates?

Everyone could suddenly start studying the "right" subjects, but I'm not convinced that would suddenly see everyone find a job as there will only ever be so many to go around at post uni level.

A good place to start is to look at the official UK skills shortage list:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/308513/shortageoccupationlistapril14.pdf

Higher salaries are a good indication that the skills are in higher demand too.

One thing to keep in mind is where you want to live. Some jobs require you to live in specific areas, such as in big cities only (for example investment banker), etc.

Hairdressers are not in short supply since pay is only £14k a year.

http://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=Hairdresser/Hourly_Rate

Marketing is also not in short supply:

http://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=Marketing_Assistant/Salary

Nursing does seem to be in shorter supply:

http://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=Registered_Nurse_%28RN%29/Salary

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There is a disconnect between what skills are needed and what skills students are learning at university. Students need to look at what skills are needed before they decide what they are going to study. I did this and it has worked out quite well for me.

But how can you be certain what jobs will be in demand in the future?

"We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet"

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A good place to start is to look at the official UK skills shortage list:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/308513/shortageoccupationlistapril14.pdf

Higher salaries are a good indication that the skills are in higher demand too.

I'd be wary of that list. Those are the jobs that the Government have opened up to the global labour market in order to drive down wages :)

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The problem is that being a graduate used to be a guarantee of a high level of intelligence which meant that certain jobs, particularly the professions, would take a graduate in any discipline because they knew they would be up to it if they could cope with the workload.

What has happened is that the word "graduate" has been so devalued by having half the school leavers get a degree that it no longer carries this weight.

You have to be a graduate of a good university or a second tier university with a good degree in a decent subject.

Other degrees are a waste of time and money (in strict career terms) as employers will look no more favourably on you for having that than for having good A levels.

As G&S said (or rather G) when everybody's somebody then no-ones anybody.

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But how can you be certain what jobs will be in demand in the future?

"We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet"

I have seen this video before. I think they are trying to be a bit controversial with that statement. The truth is that it is not too difficult to predict the future need for a certain job. There is an excellent website for researching careers:

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm

It has for every job an "Future Outlook" section where is discusses what the potential future demand is going to be for a specific occupation. Unfortunately it is for the US.

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I'd be wary of that list. Those are the jobs that the Government have opened up to the global labour market in order to drive down wages :)

Right in the middle of the aftermath of the dot com crash the govt. opening access to Uk market or indian IT company contractors, company visas or whatever they were, talking about stabbing people in the back when they are on the floor. Boom / bust bubbles are bad enough but having this directed at you takes the biscuit - computer course entries from Uk students collapsed.

Edited by onlyme2

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I have seen this video before. I think they are trying to be a bit controversial with that statement. The truth is that it is not too difficult to predict the future need for a certain job. There is an excellent website for researching careers:

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm

It has for every job an "Future Outlook" section where is discusses what the potential future demand is going to be for a specific occupation. Unfortunately it is for the US.

So what would be your top 3 jobs for the best future outlook?

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The TUC bank rolled the Labour government that imported millions of cheap labour.They bank rolled a Labour government that brought in tax credits so employers could stop increasing wages.The big plan was the city would pay the tax for it.No concern of what happens to the worker if they dont have children and/or when their youngest child reaches 18.

The TUC who waved through pensions being destroyed and most other perks for "new employees" in deals that kept the workers already there (including their shop stewards) getting final salary pensions etc.YET they are the first to mention equality etc etc.

The TUC who backed Brown who destroyed pensions so millions of people decided to use lump sums for a BTL instead of a savings account/unit trust etc.

Amazing.

This present government are a bunch of rentiers,but the last lot were even worse,all backed by the TUC,the im all right brigade.

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There is a disconnect between what skills are needed and what skills students are learning at university. Students need to look at what skills are needed before they decide what they are going to study. I did this and it has worked out quite well for me.

"I'm alright jack"

Unfortunately millions of others indoctrinated by 14 years of schooling didn't fare so well.

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But how can you be certain what jobs will be in demand in the future?

"We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet"

I'm about to pass judgement on some 'woodwork' also known as 'resistant materials'. I can't blame the students for their output, indeed some have done well against the odds but the teacher clearly knows little about quality of workmanship or how to teach it.

On a higher level, two of the last three staff I've recruited were liberated from crap minimum wage jobs. Both are now indispensable stars in my team. One has a masters in network security but could not get a job so worked in a shop that paid minimum wage and insisted staff wear the shop's expensive clothes bought out of their own wages as 'uniform' to bolster the image of the shop. I've also tried for the last 18 months to recruit a specialist with one disastrous interview with an older person. I'm not allowed to ask for youngsters but I'm more of the opinion that I should just rescue more bright kids shoved into skid row after they find that the ******** they got taught at school is worthless in the labour market. Having been to work in hell they are so pleased to be given a real job at fair wages that they will do anything for me. Train them up and they don't leave because they love the work.

I remember a PhD graduate who worked for a summer in a burger bar. When a customer got rude and called him by the name read from his badge, he would pause, fix the customer with a stare and say, "that is Dr R***lins to you matey". That tended to pull up the average burger bar client short especially when they re-read the badge and saw it indeed did say Dr.

The point is we cannot know what job to train people for, my C&G in arable farming isn't a lot of use now.

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fallacy of composition is at play on both sides here. Lots of people look at those at the bottom and say 'if you bothered studying, had a better attitude etc, you could be a doctor/engineer/lawyer'. Which is true for the maybe 20% who have the innate ability to progress in these areas. But if everyone did, competition would increase, salaries for these areas would come down and you'd get more people with the 'status anxiety' outlined in the OP as ultimately not everyone can get jobs in the field they want.

In some ways we'd be better with a more rigid class system, 10-15% doing academic degrees at good unis, another 10-15% on practical vocational courses, whether at uni or whilst in work, many of the remaining 70% perfectly happy to be a worker ant 9-5 provided they have security and reasonable living standard

But now we have X Factor society, where everyone can make it. And if you don't it's either due to your own defects or 'society' rather than being an inevitable part of any system.

On a personal level. only real hope of 'making it' outside high paying finance jobs is going to be catching the new niche. This happened in IT, the lucky few involved at the start could make a premium. Journalism too, get a good job on comment desk of a national paper and you're laughing for life. If I knew what this was I'd obviously have a go myself...

Edited by the_dork

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I'm about to pass judgement on some 'woodwork' also known as 'resistant materials'. I can't blame the students for their output, indeed some have done well against the odds but the teacher clearly knows little about quality of workmanship or how to teach it.

On a higher level, two of the last three staff I've recruited were liberated from crap minimum wage jobs. Both are now indispensable stars in my team. One has a masters in network security but could not get a job so worked in a shop that paid minimum wage and insisted staff wear the shop's expensive clothes bought out of their own wages as 'uniform' to bolster the image of the shop. I've also tried for the last 18 months to recruit a specialist with one disastrous interview with an older person. I'm not allowed to ask for youngsters but I'm more of the opinion that I should just rescue more bright kids shoved into skid row after they find that the ******** they got taught at school is worthless in the labour market. Having been to work in hell they are so pleased to be given a real job at fair wages that they will do anything for me. Train them up and they don't leave because they love the work.

I remember a PhD graduate who worked for a summer in a burger bar. When a customer got rude and called him by the name read from his badge, he would pause, fix the customer with a stare and say, "that is Dr R***lins to you matey". That tended to pull up the average burger bar client short especially when they re-read the badge and saw it indeed did say Dr.

The point is we cannot know what job to train people for, my C&G in arable farming isn't a lot of use now.

At one big co. I worked at we had an unofficial policy of looking out for university drop-outs. They were usually cheap to hire, worked well as they were grateful of being given the chance, and had shown marked intelligence and drive by packing in useless degrees before they got further into debt.

Generally they did very well and it was an excellent policy.

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So what would be your top 3 jobs for the best future outlook?

Something in medicine where the government pays your salary. Lets say GP, surgeon, nurse, dentist, etc. Plus you are cashing in on the population getting older. Ka-ching.

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fallacy of composition is at play on both sides here. Lots of people look at those at the bottom and say 'if you bothered studying, had a better attitude etc, you could be a doctor/engineer/lawyer'. Which is true for the maybe 20% who have the innate ability to progress in these areas. But if everyone did, competition would increase, salaries for these areas would come down and you'd get more people with the 'status anxiety' outlined in the OP.

In some ways we'd be better with a more rigid class system, 10-15% doing academic degrees at good unis, another 10-15% on practical vocational courses, whether at uni or whilst in work, many of the remaining 70% perfectly happy to be a worker ant 9-5 provided they have security and reasonable living standard

But now we have X Factor society, where everyone can make it. And if you don't it's either due to your own defects or 'society' rather than being an inevitable part of any system.

In pretty much all ways tbh! Though we need to lose the outdated snobbery and have more of a German model where the engineer or the brewer is as respected as any other occupation.

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Something in medicine where the government pays your salary. Lets say GP, surgeon, nurse, dentist, etc. Plus you are cashing in on the population getting older. Ka-ching. and your pension.

There we go.

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