One Young World's delegates of 2013 voted overwhelmingly to include youth unemployment as one of the six plenary topics discussed at this year's Summit in Johannesburg. Delegate speakers from the UK, France, Burundi, China, Nigeria and Turkey all showcased entrepreneurial initiatives and models that have been successful in lowering youth unemployment.
There was a brief moment in On Benefits & Proud which showed Heather's two dogs, a tiny Chihuahua and another ten times its size. The big one appeared to be happily co-existing with the small one and looking after it. It was not hard to imagine the show's producers, and Channel 5 itself, being disappointed at the care shown for the weak.
Those who read newspapers or listen to politicians are fed the same diet of anti-claimant rhetoric which bears little resemblance to the grinding reality of life on the dole, which provides only poverty-level income and vulnerability. So here are seven truths about benefits and joblessness to help balance the debate...
David Cameron's conference address may have been a long way from that sweaty room behind the church hall, but his tone was exactly the same: Overbearing, condescending, burnished with a membrane deep veneer of sincerity. We all know the world doesn't owe us a living Dave. We've been living in it all our lives.
Fairy tales, it is argued, all consist of a combination of just 31 sequential elements; between the 'once upon a time' and the 'happily ever after', nothing ever takes place when it shouldn't. In his speech to the Conservative Party Conference yesterday, David Cameron gave the impression that he thinks life works in much the same way, telling under-25s to: "Go to school. Go to college. Do an apprenticeship. Get a job."
Unless action is taken now, the reality of the UK skills shortage is here is stay. If the government is serious about long-term economic recovery, filling the ever-widening talent gap must be a priority. The alternative is to leave huge numbers of skilled roles unfilled. That will lead to reduced investment, lower GDP growth, lower future job creation and condemn thousands of people to long-term unemployment.