I have been disturbed by the way the employment system has been perverted and unorganized for a long time but recently, I have reached a whole new level of disappointment. This will not be a strictly legal post but I will try to address this issue as a concerned young professional, a person, a future employee.
Let’s all take a second and think about the logistics of it all: let’s say you go to Uni, you get your degree while still relying on your parent’s generosity and you somehow make it to graduation day. You celebrate your perseverance and ambition, you come home and you hit the online job pool ready to become an adult and finally move out. You look through some websites but given your experience, you can only find internships. Most of them unpaid, of course. [ I have recently found an internship with an international organization that required that you speak English, French and Spanish, have a law degree but it was unpaid. Uhm…WHAT?]
So you decide you’re doomed. You can either continue your education because it has become fancy to have a Master’s Degree, or two, or seven(no joke) or you can still live with your folks while they secretly wish they have taken you to some young actors classes or voice lessons, cause maybe then you would have a chance to become a Justin Bieber and be crazy rich by 20.Let’s say your parents are decent people and they offer to throw some more money at you. You’re now about 23-24, with or without a Master’s and around 1 year experience from internships. Good luck finding jobs that consider internships as ”experience”.
Let’s say you want to volunteer, participate in the advancement of an underdeveloped community. I recently searched for opportunities abroad (Asia and Africa) and guess what? A placement costs around 2000 euros. So not only that your parents have paid for your education, now they have to pay for your philanthropist quarterly-life crisis? Afraid so.
So you decide to stay home and while you look for jobs you stumble upon big words as ”youth advancement”, ”youth empowerment”, ”youth program action”. Let’s say you don’t have the time, energy or nerves to dance all this European bureaucracy cha-cha. In the end, confused by the lies you read and your personal stagnation, you come to believe that all these programs are marketing ploys , designed for the EU to promote its otherwise benevolent ideals at the expense of frustrated youngsters like you. Yes, the EU that offers those stellar opportunities for youth education and training AKA 400 euros for an internship/monthly stipend. Are you kidding me? Has everyone designing these budgets forgotten that JUST rent costs 400 euros/month? In case you are one of those 431 successful applicants at the EU Parliament traineeships, then you get around 1200 euros. Considering that they get around 8000 applicants, the other 7569 people might as well wait for another 6 months, broke and disappointed. Not to mention the mental organizational skills you need to possess to actually apply: check websites with 4 months in advance, carefully dissect your academic performance on paper, gather the divine inspiration to express your motivation… exhausting, right?
I don’t want to get into the law part of the issue. Yes, it is complex but it is also TRAGIC that young people, with talent, potential, hopes, dreams, ideals are supposed to be a pecuniary burden for their parents until they are 30! It is tragic that EU regulations allow for internships to be unpaid, as if we don’t all know that an internship it’s ACTUAL and REAL work after your orientation week.
So you read this blog and you are as outraged as I am, you go to sleep and pray to God that your parents don’t kick you out and you dream about a system that doesn’t exploit and take for granted its deepest and most valuable element: the young minds. [children are the future, they said].