The latest figures on youth unemployment from the Office for National Statistics - which show the unemployment rate for 16 to 24-year-olds is now more than double that of the wider population, with one in five young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) - paint an extremely worrying picture for today's young people, and those who work with them.
Michael Oakeshott was an English political philosopher of the conservative tradition. He died in 1990 and was all about small government, individual liberty, political conservatism and economic liberalism. Think Edmund Burke; or the Austrian political economist, Freidrich Hayek without the abstract potentialities.
The generation we need to inspire has never needed us more. The UK has experienced the fastest rise in youth unemployment of any country in the G8 since the start of the recession. Today, nearly one million young people are struggling to start careers or even find any work at all. At the same time, employers struggle to recruit entry-level candidates with the right skills. Last year, a staggering one in four businesses didn't recruit a single young person. The legacy of the Games will be failure if we don't create opportunities for this generation to be successful.
These are the girls who need to be convinced of their ability, and shown the opportunities that are there for the taking. To reach them all, we need to turn International Women's Day into a year-round campaign that champions women's leadership, and shows girls that they can achieve any career if they want it enough.
The manner in which the government is seeking to introduce apprenticeships serves only to polarise the debate, ensuring that young people are either classified as 'apprenticeship' material, or are left to join the ranks of thousands of graduates competing for the grossly limited number of entry-level jobs.
I wanted a job which combined the hands on element of working with vehicles and electronics and an active lifestyle where I can get out and about, play sport, and stay fit and active. When I was looking around for these types of jobs there were not that many so when I saw the advert for Army apprenticeships.
Being selected to work on the team was intense - CVs, interviews and technical assessments - but well worth the effort to be a part of history. My branch of the Army (REME) are experts in repairing and maintaining all of the Army's kit, and I do mean all of it - tanks to trucks; pistols to Apache helicopters!
There is a compelling need for more - and better - youth apprenticeships. Long-term youth unemployment is rising as fast as university tuition fees, yet employers are complaining of a lack of skilled labour. It is because there is a black hole of no education and no work-related training into which over a quarter of a million young people are falling every year.