A Tale About An Unemployed 18 Year Old

Let’s call him Jordan.

Jordan’s a clever kid, but he just didn’t enjoy school.  After being expelled from 3 schools, his father home schooled him and he achieved 5 GCSEs grade A or A*.

Jordan then went to college.  He didn’t like it, so he dropped out.

Just after he turned 17 he decided he didn’t like living at home any more.  With the help of social services he moved to new accommodation.

Enjoying his new found freedom, he decided to go back to College.  He enrolled in 4 AS subjects and sat the exams the following summer.     He even enrolled for the second year at College but a couple of months ago decided that it wasn’t working out for him.

Instead, Jordan got himself a job.  It’s not permanent job, but the owner of a local restaurant employs Jordan on an ad hoc basis to be a runner and general dogsbody.  The relationship suits Jordan. He works fairly regularly, but isn’t tied to regular hours.

The thing that Jordan is most proud of is the fact that he’s managed to negotiate a good rate of pay of his work.  At £5 per hour, he’s earning almost twice what most of his fellow co-workers are earning.  Needless to say, this work is “cash in hand”.

Jordan is classified as unemployed.  But he’s happy with his lot.  He’s got his freedom, a bit of cash.  Right now he doesn’t really aspire for anything else in his life.

A Tale About An Unemployed 17 Year Old

Let’s call her Emily.

8 months ago she was successful in being offered a place on an Apprenticeship scheme in an HR department in an NHS Trust.

Emily had a bright outlook on life and took a positive approach to her work. She quickly learnt the role and worked well with her team members. Everybody liked her and she was doing a great job.

In 4 months time, when her apprenticeship ended, the Trust was going to offer her a job in their HR team. In 4 months time she would have some vocational qualifications under her belt.

But Emily decided she didn’t want to work in HR. She wanted to be a Maternity Healthcare Support Worker (MHSW).

So her boss – the HR manager – arranged for her to shadow a Maternity Healthcare worker (MHSW) for a week, instead of coming to work in the HR Department.

The idea was that when a job came up in the next couple of weeks for a MHSW, Emily would be in a great position to be successful in obtaining that role.

On the first day of her shadowing she didn’t turn up. She’d changed her mind over the weekend and didn’t want to be a MHSW.

In fact, she had decided she didn’t want to be an Apprentice at all anymore.

So, her boss – the HR manager – called her to a meeting. She even asked Emily to bring her mum.

They sat and talked about Emily leaving the Apprenticeship Scheme. Emily liked her work, liked the team, but she would not change her mind. She didn’t want to work in HR, she didn’t want to be a MHSW…..and she didn’t know what she wanted to do. All she knew that she did not want to continue on the Apprenticeship scheme. She wasn’t bothered about getting the qualifications. She wasn’t bothered about the almost guaranteed job at the end of it all. In four months time.

Her boss called the Education Provider, who also called a meeting with Emily. But they were unable to change her mind.

So now, Emily is at home. Unemployed. And a statistic.