Friday 24th June 2016, the day we as a country decided to leave the European Union. I don’t know about you but I woke that morning feeling like Mr Krabs.
I was on the remain side of the debate and was genuinely shocked at the result. The events that followed also had me thinking what on earth is going on here! But now it’s 9 months later and the political musical chairs are over, so what next?
For me the government and wider society hasn’t really painted any sort of picture of what life could look like post Brexit, which hasn’t really filled me with confidence or led me to have a positive outlook for the next few years. However I have spent the past months really thinking about the potential and opportunities Brexit could bring for young people.
A concern that I have heard a lot over the last few months is, that businesses are worried about their potential labour force. If a hard Brexit is pursued and the UK brings in restrictions on EU migration, industries such as hospitality, manufacturing and construction could potentially face a staffing crisis. According to the Business Insider, EU migrants make up to 30% of the work force in food manufacturing and within hotels and restaurants. Businesses claim this is because British people don’t want to take up these mostly unskilled jobs, making them reliant on EU workers. To me this is a little unfair – in school those sorts of careers aren’t really promoted, nor are the skills required to work in those jobs. This I think is due to the culture within education in the UK. There’s has been a major focus on academics and the path to university. In recent years there has been a small shift towards apprenticeships, but it has still been bit lacklustre.
The government should be looking to inject more funding into vocational education and training young people to fill those job roles. It will shift attitudes and possibly improve the current stalling of social mobility.
I don’t have all the answers but I do think we should start looking at how we can make the most out of monumental change that is coming and look how we can solve some of our long lingering issues, such youth unemployment and lack of training. Brexit isn’t all bad.