DON’T’ worry, I’m not going to do a boring Brexit column but I’m worried about something connected with it, which I must share with you, however you voted.
Who is going to replace the low skilled workers who may not eventually be allowed into this country?
I’ve heard too many youngsters (of all classes and ethnicity) saying they would never ‘flip burgers’, or the equivalent.
‘Why not?’ is usually met by an incredulous snort, implying we oldies would not understand.
But we did ‘flip burgers’ when we were young in order to get a few pounds in our pockets. Maybe not burgers, but we sold broken biscuits in Woollies and delivered post at Christmas. Mr F did portering work at Hoovers in Perivale.
When FJ was little I did a couple of evenings a week in a sweet kiosk at Richmond Ice Rink. While at school she worked Saturdays at Woolworths; as a student at a pizza delivery outlet.
OK, this was casual work, but I’m sure most of us would have taken these jobs on for longer in order to keep a household afloat.
My mum did various part-time jobs, from shop assistant at Boots the Chemist, to selling ice creams in the interval at Birmingham Rep Theatre.
It wasn’t until I left home at 18 that she went for a full-time job in the registrar’s office at Aston University.
Nothing wrong with ambition, but constantly being told to follow their dreams does not help the selfie generation.
A fixation with image means never being prepared to settle for less, so many jobs remain vacant or are filled by people from abroad – often from the EU.
Though better money and conditions would undoubtedly help fill vacancies in lower paid jobs, a bit of realism would also help.
I hate to disappoint Millennials but the road to easy money is littered with X-factor hopefuls, while authors like Katie Price don’t actually write the books themselves. Anyway, who’s to say what is skilled and what is not? Building a wall; washing, feeding, and caring for a dementia patient; waiting on customers in restaurants, or rustling up a complicated coffee in one of our many chains, all look pretty skilled to me. We need those who prop up our NHS and care homes, hospitality and building trade, and many of our EU workers, I’ve discovered, are amongst the most polite and efficient staff you could find.
People who show good customer care in all its guises – mainly empathy and efficiency – I would define as skilled. Wouldn’t you?
Not too proud to sell broken biscuits in Woolworths