Preparing for a post-employment world

3rd January 2014 at 00:00

I could scarcely believe my eyes when reading the injunction of James Calleja, director of the European Union's vocational training development centre, that children should be readying themselves for work from the age of 11 ("Why you're never too young to start preparing for work", 2027 December). There is a sense in which children prepare for work from the day they're born. But to formalise this at 11 is yet another attack on childhood, dragging young people into the adult world far too soon.

Mr Calleja then (rightly) goes on to highlight the spectre of youth unemployment - so where is the logic in preparing children for non-existent jobs? Given that the neo-liberal capitalist economy has shown itself incapable of creating favourable employment outcomes for young people, we should actually be delaying their career planning and perhaps preparing them for a "post-employment" world, not priming them for an economic system that will betray most of them.

Dr Richard House, University of Winchester.

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