The youth of today are characterised as work-shy and unmotivated for true work. We vote the least, work the least and yet we are the most highly educated and literally possess the ideas of tomorrow. Speaking as a member of this generation, the mindset that “we possess degrees no one sees as useful and no actual experience” is like a fury that never ceases. It is a down-heartening message, but the truth is so uplifting; and we can prove it. We haven’t quit. We face the pain of a depression we have no responsibility for and yet we continue to work in all forms.
Action research done by TFMP has shown a consistent pattern from university students, to school leavers, to the disenfranchised of Shard End and Washwood Heath. Each interview, a slice of a struggle generations wide, shows freelance, cash in hand and charity work by the dozen. Each one characterised themselves as unemployed, unable to contribute and useless; the truth is the opposite. This is the message drummed in from a million different sources and not one of them on the ground. The interviews, the meetings, the relationships, tell a whole other story. The generation burns with the Blitz Spirit to work no matter how informal, how unorthodox. If it supports, if it helps, we are there powering on to survive until our time in the sun comes.
There is a long way to go: the economic wasteland is most real for the 16% of those not protected in education or employment. But the fight hasn’t ceased. The pride I feel to be part of a generation where we fight even when we think we have lost is overwhelming. The one prediction for the future is when the clouds clear and the walls stop rattling this Youth of the Blitz Spirit will show a dedication that will lead the next boom. It is only those who quit, who fail.