UK unemployment continues to edge up. UK unemployment stuck at 17-year high as economy flat lines. Women swelling the ranks of the jobless… These are some of the headlines coming out of UK.
Glancing through these headlines makes me think it was right to catch a flight back to New Delhi from London on September 9,2011.
The going was tough then and its getting tougher now.
A look at the numbers released by the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment rose by 48,000 to 2.67 million in the three months to December. This for the sake of records is highest for 17 years.
Ironic it might sound, but the Sun now seems to be setting on the British Empire.
How is No.10, Downing Street going to create 2.67 million plus jobs is something they best can answer, but it’s certain that it would be herculean task for David Cameron and Co.
All I can do is wish them luck. For I remember giving up on finding work in the land of opportunities London, after managing to find one as a porter in the night shift of a Cargo company where in the agent would take 40% of what you earned as a commission of what you earned after emptying two container load.
Creating jobs is a challenge, in my limited experience of searching one for close to a year as a post graduate student was ‘Sorry we are not hiring’ or ‘we can’t offer the basic minimum wage’. Can’t say what has changed over the last five months except for the numbers of people being unemployed.
I see unemployment along with vacant seats as another big problem that the coalition will have to address in the year ahead. With the government all set to scrap the Post Study Work visa which attracted many to study at the UK.
A report in the Guardian stated that Student visa curbs are damaging our reputation, Universities UK warns, with close to 11,000 less students applying for admission. This move might cost UK economy 3.6 billion pounds.
That apart the upto triple hike in tuition fees for the home students, there too is a fall of number of students opting for higher education. UK is witnessing riots, where students are hitting the streets rather than attending school.
Those who studied with me and are still putting up in London are facing a tough time, there aren’t many jobs. Those who left London have managed to find some work in their respective countries. Even home students are finding it difficult to get an appointment letter.
The CUTS have a bearing on the Universities as well. A professor of a leading University told me sometime back, it’s difficult for them as well for the University is not filling vacant positions leading them overworked.
It’s not mere unemployment but the government needs to ensure that it manages to attract students both overseas and home to UK for higher studies. They need to act fast, as mere optimism and a great oratory performance at the Commons won’t help Cameron and UK much.