This post highlights the debate taking place in the UK about youth unemployment and the malaise and strains it is creating in society as a result of educating for a multi-planet future on the one world we have.
This post is part of this article Service for the Nation in the One Planet World
The End of a Coherent UK?
As indicated above we have failed to recognise that the UK has had a propensity to educate for industrial and environmental decline for more than a century and that a society that no longer possesses the knowledge and skills to maintain and extend its infrastructure will not viable in the One Planet World.
Putting these pieces together we now find ourselves in a critical national position with regard to the ‘energy gap’ acknowledged in 2005 by Professor Sir David King – the short political timeframe and the planning regime has led to the deferment of decisions on the mix of energy we need, leaving us at the mercy of foreign sources of energy and reliant on a number of aging nuclear power stations.
Service for the Nation
Paraphrasing the FRESA comment
“In terms of job losses the bulk are expected to come in elementary trades, process operatives, skilled metal and construction trades and are expected to be dominated by males.”
This is a forecast of potential disaster for the UK. It will at best lead to a position where a large proportion of males feel excluded with probable social unrest – we see this already happening; any job gains are predicated on the assumption that service industries will grow
As we transition to the OPW the only way this scenario can be avoided is by addressing the issue of National Service – or Service for the Nation, not primarily the traditional military service to provide constructive mandatory and voluntary work for primarily males across the age range that will otherwise be idle.
Tomorrow’s organisations are only beginning to sense the change of paradigm required for sustainable, profitable business in the One Planet World and the leadership it will require. They certainly cannot act to prevent the disintegration of the UK as a coherent society on the timescale required.
Many foreign owned utilities also have no obligation or the will to do so beyond the economic ‘profit’ generated and will not create OPW skills and jobs without this incentive.
Society itself has to find the will to generate the new knowledge and skills required, and also the old knowledge and skills that will have to be relearned in the OPW – these are best created through Service for the Nation – National Service.
A 21st Century National Service
The UK Government has just introduced a requirement for 11 year olds, starting secondary education in September 2009 to stay in Education or training until they are 18.
There is currently much debate about how this translates into positive outcomes and Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity, which is the outcome least required as we shift paradigms into the OPW. A 2005 OFSTED report finding that only 12% of 19 to 30 year olds interviewed thought that school had enabled them to be creative or understand risk.
In addition the change to fee paying in Further and Higher Education has led to most learners deciding to stay local to complete their education.
Similarly, with no form of National Service, young people not in continuing education experience no other input than their local area and as a result, in most cases, have no expectations beyond their limited boundaries. There is clear evidence that this is causing a dependency culture and an underclass, as is being widely reported.
So where do we stand at the start of a new decade and halfway through the UN Decade for sustainable Development 2005-2014?
It can be stated
◦ There is a wide spread of achievement output from the UK’s Education System
◦ This is aimed at satisfying a paradigm that no longer exists.
◦ This results in high youth unemployment.
◦ Leading to disaffection and continuing underachievement.
◦ And withdrawal from involvement in the wider society
◦ Causing violence and crime, fuelled in many cases by drugs.
Clearly, increasing the age of compulsory education will have no effect on this vicious circle unless we recognise the paradigm we need to educate for is shifting rapidly as we move into the One Planet World.
We have to recognise, as stated throughout this article that education has to liberate the creativity that will enable citizens to help create the OPW within the UK. This can only be achieved through ‘service above self’.
This is not the politically correct thing to say at this time, but it is central to any future that can be envisaged in a UK of around 70 million citizens.
Our conception of National Service is coloured by its compulsory and in many cases arbitrary nature, where outcomes were not tailored to the needs of individuals, or even society.
This is not the aim of Service for the Nation; the aim is to provide rounded citizens with a range of knowledge and skills appropriate to their talents and the creativity to use them effectively and efficiently in helping create the One Planet World.
This does not mean that military service will not be part of the mix for those attracted to such service and we need to acknowledge the part played in current conflicts by our young people.
We do not need to reinvent the wheel as there are service organizations, Scouts etc. who know how to create future citizens and leaders that we can use as templates.
These things are critical
◦ There must be an element of compulsion for all to contribute in their own way.
◦ There must be a controlled but significant element of risk.
◦ Service should be away from home for realistic periods
◦ Learning and work undertaken must result in value added to society.
◦ All must have access to achieve to laid down standards
◦ Rank must be available for significant leadership ability.
Many will argue that this cannot be afforded but the real question is “can we afford, not to be able to afford it?” – if the alterative is societal collapse.
Copyright Derek Deighton 2009
See C Barnett, Audit of War, 1989