31/10/2011 18:57 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Surviving Teenagers: Worrying If They'll Ever Get Jobs

Surviving teenagers: Worrying if they'll ever get jobs Getty

I went to two parties on Saturday night. This is really unusual. The other 51 Saturdays of the year, I sit on the sofa worrying about where my teenagers are.

At the first party, I bumped into an old friend and conversation turned to the protesters camping outside St Paul's. My friend had been along with his 10-year-old son to offer money, food and support.

"I'm glad they're doing something," he said. "We can't carry on as we are."

At the second party, I got talking to a woman who had two teenage sons.

"You worry about them, don't you?" she said. "Will there be any jobs for them when they leave school?"

The next day, along with a slight headache and sore toes (it all comes of dancing in witchy boots that taper to a sharp point), I felt incredibly gloomy. What kind of world are we passing on to the next generation?

I've never had the kind of jobs that pay a four-figure bonus and a brand-new Porsche. But I've always had work. What if all the jobs disappear? What if our lovely talented teenagers end up unable to scrape a living at all?

Here we are pushing them to get qualifications that open doors. But maybe we're wrong. Maybe all the doors are banging shut, one by one.

"I'm sure they'll find a way to get through," said the woman at the party. "They're young. They're full of ideas. They'll change things for the better."

I hope so. I really do.

In the meantime, I'm going to buy a tent.