Elections are won and lost over trivial issues. Who speaks the best, who dresses the best, who has the more attractive wife. But, instead of switching channel as soon as conference coverage appears on our televisions, maybe we should turn it up, listen to the posh men in the suits and decide what is best for our future.
As a student currently in my last year of university, facing the daunting task of writing a CV and covering letter that will stand out amongst the 80 others that have already landed on an employer’s desk, I know what I’m looking for from the countries next PM. Graduate employment needs to improve.
The statistics initially do not read too badly. In the academic year of 2010/2011 the percentage of unemployed undergraduates was only 7.6%, however this figure rises for university leavers in London to 9.1%, the highest in the UK. And a further worrying statistic is that this figure rises again to 11% for students of ‘mass communications’ subjects, of which I am one.
Personally this sounds like an incredible waste of resources. We must use our population as a resource; the same as Brazil uses the Amazon rainforest or fisherman use the vast oceans. And our young population is a vital resource. We have industries overloaded with secretaries, IT technicians, consultants, middle-managers, programmers, solutions experts, the list goes on. These people are wasted sitting at desks. These are fit and healthy young men and women, who have the physical capacity to be greater than their ancestors, so why not have them working in industries that their ancestors benefited from. This country was bred on its agricultural beginnings and the empire was built upon home grown produce and self-sufficiency.
The current government thrives on making bold statements. Well let’s make another. Anybody who fails to acquire a job after graduating from university can work on farms, supplying labour in order to aid the rebirth of our arable and agricultural farming past. The benefits are incredible.
Firstly, the simple fact that the farming industry will be able to grow again, aided by the vastly extended workforce would be of great benefit to the currently meagre export industry, and our reliance on importing goods from far flung places would decrease greatly. British farmers have recently been experimenting with the possibilities of growing produce previous imported into the country, including melons, saffron, liquorice and even wasabi. Not only would the availability of a larger workforce enable the labour intensive work needed for these crops to be done (cheaply), the highly intelligent and sophisticated minds of the graduate population can work to increase the success rate of these valuable goods. Due to our ability technologically, the industry is able to actively decrease the number of products we HAVE to import, and due to growing them domestically the price will dropped as it will no longer be blighted with import duty and regulations. Prices dropping means consumers buying, from supermarkets to restaurants, everyone benefits, including the government. That brings me swiftly onto the second benefit. Taxes.
Not only would our economy improve from the government making bundled of extra cash from lowering money spent on import tax, but we would be adding a few zeros on to the end of our current export taxation figure. Former jobless graduates would be paying income tax, and would have no reason to sign-on at the JobCentre, saving us millions on benefits, maybe allowing it to go on the people that need financial support, rather than the people that would just quite like it.
Thirdly, the products that made Britain what it is would have the opportunity to blossom once more. British raspberries are possibly the greatest fruit product that has ever been produced in this country, but the industry has suffered in recent years. Growing a food like raspberries is a labour intensive process with pickers needed at specific times, workers to keep soil based diseases away from the precious crop and management types to keep the supermarkets, grocers and restaurants interested. Supermarkets are reluctant to sell British raspberries due to the price and quantity available, but if the workforce was available, at a cheaper individual labour cost, a greater number could be produced at a lower price. Raspberries can grace our plates once more. All hail the forgotten fruits!
I know what you’re all thinking: why would a Conservative government produce a plan to make the poorer industries more dominant?
Again, it’s very simple. It would help them to justify completely scrapping the benefits society we have in this country. No one would need benefits. Nobody would be out of work. Everyone would be paying taxes, allowing the government to lower taxes placed on the bankers and brokers of this world. And a welcome gaping void between the servants and their masters would be back.
Let’s be even more imaginative with this masterstroke. I can see a time where once graduates only interested in physics degrees and indie/pop/rock music would appreciate the wonders of hard-graft. They would delight in the Great British morning frost, getting their hands dirty and crippling their backs into an irreversible ache. Then all this office space that’s shooting up around industrial estates can be demolished to make room for our broadening and bubbling farming industry.
So, just a little idea to get Dave and Nick thinking. Might not be completely justified in the arguments, or sophisticated in the planning, but I don’t see any better ideas coming from the Conservative cabinet, well maybe that in itself says a lot more than I am able to.