Employment predictions 2010

Monday, January 4th, 2010 - Blog

Employment predictions 2010

Happy New Year! Having given this more than 5mins of thought – at least most of December – here are my predictions on the world of employment for 2010. Some are a bit grim, some are a bit pessimistic – but there is a bright ending at least:

  1. Unemployment will be higher in December 2010, than January 2010 – I see the recovery as long and tough. But the main reason is simply that while the commercial sector has taken a beating since later 2008, its is the government sector which is now due at best a light trim to address those debt issues
  2. Youth unemployment won’t get any better – the problem for the sub-25 sector is that at the point of entry to a company it is both unproductive, and untrained. It’s like buying a half-baked loaf of bread, and then having to finish it off. Much as though companies can see the long term problem, the short term need is for productivity
  3. There won’t be enough University places in September – the university population will continue to be under pressure, with older commercial sector workers heading for retraining over unemployment. But again those government sector debts will limit the cap on university places, and I think, reduce them
  4. Job Centres need to be revolutionised, but won’t be – too many times in 2009, I heard and read stories about educated middle-class professional people becoming disillusioned with JobCentre staff telling them to take a job, just any job. Much as the youth unemployment problem is creating a long term legacy, once you take a professional and make them a shelf stacker in a retail store, there is little chance of them going back. The current attitude of JobCentres is country-level deskilling at its worst
  5. Immigration will become a dirtier word – with an election coming towards us in the UK at fast pace, and even the ex-Arch Bishop of Canterbury commenting on immigration issues, it will only get worse. Add in the fact that the gutter-press red tops think that almost every Muslim is a member of Al Queda, and I fear a tinder box situation. The problem is that only 15% of our immigration is defined by “foreigners taking British jobs” – and these are jobs that have been advertised at a JobsCentre for at least 3months. Most of the UK’s immigration is of family and relatives who are already here, followed by asylum seekers (a problem that I don’t think is fixed), and then illegals. Approved workers who have gone through the whole system come fourth. I hope someone politically takes a lead on this, and soon
  6. We need to become more Asian aware – Asia will grow quickly in the next decade, while we reduce our debts. We have a global lead in banking and law, so why not leverage it? Its all well and good turning out an army of “safe” Captain Mainwarings, but that’s a wholly insular view of the country over what it needs to grow globally
  7. The clear and widening scisum between the education system and the commercial sector needs to be solved – at the moment, the educated coming out of our schools read and write less well than those of a decade ago. Further, the university graduates needs more trainign to become productive than their counterparts of 10years ago. The run to the holly grail of better education results needs to be refocused to the productivity of the country
  8. IT skills in 2010 mean more than MSWord and Excel – even today, the term IT skills on a job description means far more than a simple ability to manipulate MSWord and Excel. As online grows, It skills will include marketing (research and communication), graphic design, creative writing, and finance, none of which include the ability to manipulate html code! Computers may not be your thing, but Word and Excell now are as basic as reading and writing; in 5years time, that won’t be enough to qualify you as having IT skills. Plan ahead now!
  9. Innovation needs to be encouraged – we will only as a country create long term and stable employment, and hence employment and stable communities, through innovation. Big lumps of cash ploughed into science and other basic research has debatable returns, but as shown by the long term success ratio’s of the Prince’s Trust, simple grants of a few thousand pounds create amazing and sustainable business consistently
  10. Unstable government will mean unstable employment for the next three+ years – our country level debt needs tackling, but the political field is wide open. I can’t see Labour winning – and have no confidence in Gordon Brown. But, I don’t trust David Cameron. The pollsters will tell you that the Conservatives have a huge task to get a win, needing to turn the second largest winning margin in UK political history. I don’t care who you vote for, but you need to vote in the forth coming 2010 election. My call is that who ever wins, they won’t have a big enough majority to govern clearly and make the required decisions to follow their strategy through, and hence we will have unstable government and unstable employment.

Good Luck!


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