Friday, 18 January 2013

Give me a job - (and make me happy)

Yesterday I was chatting to a colleague about job security. Our contracts are renewed annually. So, 12 whole months of job security. Though my contract has been renewed since 2009 and hers since 2006. I said I felt I was in the most secure job I'd had for years.... lots of my previous work had been for charities, often grant funded, say by The Big Lottery Fund. After the typical three years' funding ran out I'd be off out job hunting yet again, and each time it seemed there were fewer job opportunities out there.

My colleague said she felt the opposite. She had previously worked for the statutory or private sectors, and felt more secure in those positions (though the times they are a-changing here too...)

But what about people who have no job at all? They might never have had one, and no matter how hard they try there is no prospect of a job showing up soon. So often now this means young people, even graduates, who take on endless volunteering opportunities or intern-ships, and still struggle to find a permanent job. Research has shown that this can have a serious impact on long-term life opportunities, and potentially on a young person's mental health. Earlier this month the Princes' Youth Trust published its fifth annual Youth Index, which gauged young people's happiness across a range of areas from family life to physical and mental health. Last night the charity hosted a live web-chat about the issue, and you can find a record of the conversation here. It is a useful source of ideas and resources for young people who are unemployed and want to know - what next?

Also, Mental Health Today has an interesting article about the subject here.

And you can listen to a Radio 4 broadcast comparing the experiences of unskilled baby boomers' seeking work in the early 1960s, and young people in a similar situation today here.

Are you a young person looking for work? Or do you have children, relatives or young friends struggling to find employment? Tell us about your experiences and if it is has affected your mental health.

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