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Generation Jobless or the Lost Generation

When doing research on this topic of the “Gap Generation,” “Generation Jobless,” or the “Lost Generation” I came across the documentary from a Canadian based tv series Doc Zone called “Generation Jobless.” The film is almost 2 years old, but the information is relevant and insightful. If you have a chance I’d recommend viewing it, but it is 45 min long. I posted a youtube link here for you to view it.

Photo of Kelsey Rubbelke
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The Generation Jobless documentary mainly focusses on the growing youth unemployment or underemployment in Canada, but much of what is discussed is happening all over the world. A few of the topics discussed within the documentary on this crisis include:

1) Degrees are no longer a guarantee for a job and sometimes can be worthless. The documentary talks about how we as a society have been taught that if you get higher education and a degree you will basically be guarenteed a job. That is no longer the case. Sometimes degrees can even hinder your abilities to get jobs because you expect higher pay that isn't being offered. Plus employers don't want to have to teach or invest in youth. The documentary states that 60% of college graduates are in debt and the average debt is $27,000. Due to the lack of job guarantee, many college graduates find themselves in underemployment status at low-skilled jobs such as those in the serving industry. 

2) Automatization has caused disappearing jobs. Automated cars will and have started to replace taxi drivers, bus drivers, and even delivery services. The documentary goes on to say how white collar jobs aren’t safe either. How, now, we have software that can analysis legal documents which can replace lawyers and robots can fill prescriptions replacing pharmacists. 

3)The conventional business model is gone. Today employers are hiring mainly on a temporary basis. We have become a project based society and workers are hired on only for a project instead of a steady income. In this section the film does discuss the nature of internships. A statistic presented in the movie is the estimation that there are 1-2 million interns in the United States and that at least half are unpaid. Ros Perlin, the author of “Intern Nation,” is briefly shown in a section discussing whether internships are exploitation as he describes or truly a foot in the door or paying dues to get to a more permanent job status.

4)One highly discussed topic throughout the film is stated by, Armine Yalnizyan, a Senior Economist at the Cdn. Centre for Policy Alternatives. She states “Boomers became the architects of a scorched earth public policy for the next generation, are we not suppose to be stuarts for the next generation.” They discuss how the parent generation has spent all of the money, they won’t retire because they are in debt, and they can’t retire because they keep bumping up the age limit. Therefore they are not giving any room to the younger generation to even get started in the job market. 

6) The last topic I’m going to list here discussed in this documentary is the example of a country who found a solution. Switzerland has one of the lowest unemployment rates for youth, 2.8%. In Switzerland they have a system where employers, schools, and the government coordinate and cooperate with one another in order to ensure the success of their youth. They make their youth a priority. At the age of 15 students choose to continue on to a university or go into an apprenticeship both routes are setup and organized in a way to guarantee success and therefore youth unemployment is low.

I posted this to be insightful, give more background, and help fuel ideas into the next round of this challenge. 

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Loads of awesome insights here, Kelsey. Thanks for sharing and adding talking points for folks who might not have time to watch the video.