On Democracy Day, youth unemployment and societal disengagement were up for discussion at a Legatum Institute business breakfast that hosted Chloe Smith MP, former Treasury Minister.
Smith, the force behind her local ‘Norwich For Jobs’ initiative that has seen youth unemployment halved in just 17 months. She gave an overview of the challenge facing government, businesses, and communities in meeting the demands of the next generation.
Youth turnout in the UK is falling as the ‘state’ seems ever more distant from the needs and attitudes of young people. Business too faces a parallel challenge in meeting the demands of the future workforce whose experience and preferences run against traditional large hierarchical business structures. Often focussed on graduate recruitment, businesses are beginning to look beyond degrees to build a workforce of more diverse skills.
With polling showing that young people look far more to charities, businesses, and themselves to affect the change they want to see, rather than the old mechanisms of the state, it seems that the younger generation are quietly redefining the relationship between the citizen and the state. With a politician and multiple businesses around the table, how government and business respond to this made for an engaging and thoughtful conversation.
About the Speaker
Chloe Smith began her career at Deloitte before becoming a Minister in 2009. In October 2011, at the age of 27, Chloe was appointed to be a Minister in the House of Commons, as Economic Secretary to the Treasury. From 2012 to 2013, Chloe served in the Cabinet Office as Parliamentary Secretary. Her political experience covers work, pensions and public services, topics that will be at the heart of the election debates.