It is clear from the press that the outlook remains bleak for our young people. There are around one million 16 to 24 year-olds not in education, training or employment and the labour market is becoming crowded with an excess of university graduates that aren't being offered work for which they are qualified.
Imagine what would happen to Britain if the Home Secretary had the power to expel anyone from the country "without assigning any reason." Then imagine what it would be like now if the power had always existed: no dissenting voices left, no debate; anyone in a minority either too intimidated to speak out or already deported.
Atwood H. Townsend once said "No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." I couldn't agree more and while I know a handful of people who enjoy reading for pleasure, there are very few students and millennials in general who take pride in their personal reading list...
Moving home after graduation is a scary time, not so much because you're delved into a horrible new lifestyle, but because you've had to say goodbye to such a fantastic one. It was always going to be hard to beat living at university with friends, without the divides of varying salaries, lifestyles and holiday allowances.
From day one, orientation is far more curious than the British experience of Freshers' Week. We are treated to champagne mimosas over breakfast, are wined and fed, partake in a mass "speed meeting" of our future classmates and enjoy an outdoor screening of Legally Blonde (yes, the concept of irony has drifted across the pond too)...
In October, the former Conservative Education Secretary Lord Baker put forward plans to build 'career colleges'. These will be started by FE Colleges that will granted the right to recruit at 14 from last September and will, aside from what is, unfortunately, called 'core academic work', prepare youngsters for a variety of identified careers from hospitality to health care.
The challenge now is for schools, universities, business and Government join us in making sure that the potential engineers of the future are informed, without prejudice, of all the opportunities available to them. We need to work together to provide the advice and support all young people need to make informed decisions at an early age.
Students considering going to university to study the "arts" need to be made aware that it is unlikely they will enter that field after they graduate. As important as film, media, fashion, performing arts are to this country the thousands of students who choose these courses are going to find themselves sorely disappointed when they leave university.
For a student paying £9,000 in tuition fees, they should get value for their money and if universities are not motivating their staff, it means that everybody is losing out. Students will not get the good quality education that they are paying for, teachers are not paid fairly and will begin to "work to rule" and the universities credibility will plummet.
We've got plenty to fight against. In recent months the Tories have been very keen to talk up the so-called 'economic recovery'. George Osbourne claims that the minimal growth showing in recent figures vindicates his austerity policies. In reality, not only has the British economy barely moved from stationary to first gear.