This week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released some encouraging news about the state of employment in the UK - youth employment is on the up. However, nearly a million 16-24 year olds are still left without work. For many young people, this is a desperate situation. Any length of time with little or no work is an extremely difficult cycle to break.
Nowadays, everybody is "offering experience" - but nobody is willing to put their hand in their pocket and pay for the labour they are gaining. So employers continue to get something for nothing, while the workers get nothing for something very important. If we force vulnerable young workers to accept this new deal, we will all pay a very high price.
So this is my thinking: If we brought back national service for a year after school - and by national service, I mean national send-everyone-to-work-in-a-bar-for-a-year-whilst-they-get-paid-nearly-nothing-and-probably-end-up-hoping-to-die service - we would quickly develop into a nation of polite, kind, respectful, super-employable people