Trainer Tales, Volume 2
Me: Have you seen the video Young and Unemployed?
Colleague: The French one? Yes, it's a big hit with the trainees.
Me: I meant the British one.
Colleague: No, not yet. Why?
Me: I assigned it as homework the other night and noticed something about the NEETS . . .
NEET -- Not in Education, Employment or Training
Me: They're mostly the children of immigrants.
Colleague: AH! I know exactly what you mean! I see a lot of it myself.
Me: You see a lot of . . . what?
Colleague: First generation immigrants working so hard to make it in a new country . . . but then spoiling their children rotten. And the children growing up soft.
Me: Oh. That's sort of what I'm getting at . . . but I think the same thing would have happened even if the parents had been hard on their children. They were willing to work in menial jobs so that their children could have office jobs. But this meant that when the second generation grew up, it had to compete with the children of the locals whose refusal to take the menial jobs in the first place created a demand for an immigrant workforce.
Colleague: And then it starts all over again! Did you read the article about the Italian business owner who says he'd rather hire foreigners than young Italians?
Me: Yes! That one is a big hit, too.
Colleague: I discussed it with an Italian trainee earlier, and he told me that all the best pizzerias in his city have kitchens full of Egyptians.
Me: Well, good for them--but if their children want cushy office jobs when they grow up, they'll be just like those British kids in a few years.
Colleague: Don't you think there's also an element of discrimination?
Me: I wouldn't rule it out, of course . . . But even if immigration had not been a factor, there would still be a lot of competition for the white collar jobs. One of my French trainees is an engineer with [Company redacted] and he says it wants to close its office in his city. That will cut over 300 jobs. The managers are willing to transfer as many employees as they can to offices in other cities, and even in other countries--or if people want to remain in the city, to help them find work with other businesses. But that doesn't mean they'll be doing the same work they were trained for, or even getting the same pay.
Colleague: At the same time, there are so many blue collar job vacancies in Europe. But how can you advise someone to take a job in, say, construction, when his entire education made him take for granted that he'd get to work in an air conditioned office?
Me: Another French trainee told me that she talked to a young man in the metro who hadn't been able to get a job interview for almost two years, though he'd been sending his c.v. out right and left. She told him, "We can't all work in offices."
Colleague: That's true--though it sounds a little elitist coming from someone who does work in an office.
Me: That's not even the richest part. She's the company's Human Resources partner.
Colleague: Hahahahaha! But she would know, right? Having to screen all those applicants . . .
Me: Sigh! I have no idea how Europe is going to solve its problems, but I do know what the takeaway is from our end. Every Filipino considering emigration says the he wants to do it to give his children a better future. Well, Britain has just given us one case in which that long-term outcome has definitely not been achieved, and I'm going to bet that the rest of the Big Five have similar issues. I wouldn't go as far as to say that the first generation should have just stayed home, but it's amazing to see how fast those "greener pastures" dried up.
Colleague: In the meantime, the Europeans can start having more babies. Do you know what the birthrate is in Germany???
Me: Ich weiß es nicht. But even that isn't going to help them if none of the children want to do blue collar work when they grow up.
Colleague: Hey, what did you mean by the Big Five?
Me: It's a Eurovision thing. You don't want me to elaborate . . .
But for my curious readers, there is this video
Image Source: NEET