On the busiest Christmas shopping day of the year staff at Action for Children are working to support the poorest families across the UK stay warm and fed. This is a sad reflection of the worsening effects of the tough economic times we are in; in previous years we handed out presents during the festive season.
The one apparent bright spot, the fall in unemployment, came with more caveats than the average party election manifesto. More are working part-time only because they can't find full-time work while those earning less than premiership footballers have lost hundreds more pounds this year as wages still haven't kept pace with inflation.
It is crucial to look out there to turn around the learning if we are to re-calibrate the machine. If we as educators can't be open, radically re-learn from young people and collaborate with others out there to help fashion new digital tools and approaches to transforming the lives of marginalised young people, the queue will continue to be long and the cry that "Education, labour or the machine isn't working" will become ever louder.
Yesterday, in an article on the Huffington Post, I read quotes from Sir Stuart Rose, CEO of Ocado and Lance Batchelor, CEO of Domino's, in relation to immigration and the British work ethic. To be quite frank, I was incredulous. These men are no doubt highly intelligent individuals, with an intrinsic understanding of the political and economic aspects of both free trade and the labour markets.
I'm well aware that I'm not in a position to be picky. There are a lot of people who are quite good at doing things with words. So when, a few weeks ago, I was offered a full-time position as a 'document writer' for a small but growing company, you'd expect me to have jumped on it. I turned it down.
The two traditional reasons for the destruction of the academic job market are attributed to the marketisation of education and to the government cuts in the Humanities and in the Social Sciences. Although these are the causes of the crisis, the structural damage is done by the reaction of the departments to the new status quo.
The number of people at risk of poverty grows in Germany, although the number of employed has never before been so high, according to the results published this week by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The study, which takes a snapshot of German society from numerous surveys, shows that in 2012 the country had 41.5 million people employed, the highest in its history. However, the total working volume was at 1991 levels.
I have never suggested that anyone should be working and I perfectly accept that there is many people, disabled or not, who are not ready to work for a whole range of reasons. I have never cared how many disabled people actually work, but simply the fact society, professionals and disabled people themselves believed they can work.
YouthDirect allows a young person to find any job opportunity, work experience, apprenticeship, internship or training opportunity in any field that interests them by simply submitting their post-code. With the website's simple map feature, any young person can find the closest opportunity to them and apply for it through us.
The benefits debate is gathering real momentum in the UK. Should the unemployed do something in return for taxpayer's support? Surely the answer is yes. But if governments condition our unemployed to expect money for nothing, then the result is obvious. There is no incentive to find a job. Any smart person will take money for nothing.
Lazy, social media obsessed and filled with a sense of entitlement. The all too familiar criticisms that levelled at Generation Yers today. Like millions of others born between the early 1980s until the early 2000s, I'm part of a group that everybody seems to have an opinion on. We're a group who can't focus on anything, a 'boomerang generation' who run back to their parents every time they face a problem and expect a glittering career to be handed to them on a plate.
The fact that Germany is not as strong as we believe means that the country may not be able to lift Europe out of its economic woe. If this is really the case, we are pinning our high hope on the wrong leader. It therefore makes a lot more sense for us to come up with new ways to solve the Eurozone crisis...