I am working my way through the dozens of applicants for my current internship vacancy. What strikes me is the quality. There are a few exceptions who don’t quite hit the spot. If you actively campaigned for UKIP in the General Election less than 2 months ago, then I do not sincerely believe your dream job is working for me. The candidate who has done internships for 3 other political parties’ representatives, and now wants to add Labour to the list again may not really understand politics as well as their application claims. There’s also the perpetual intern who has a selection of glorious placements, but no evidence of actually working despite graduating some years ago. Top tip if you have several relevant internships completed, I would value more highly evidence you can hold down a job in a shop, a factory or wherever, rather another few months doing something similar.
These though are the exceptions, overwhelmingly the applications I have received for a 3 month internship are from highly qualified candidates. Multilingual, cosmopolitan, wide interests, excellent academic achievements – it is making shortlisting devilishly difficult. Who do I blame for this? Well it has to be the Labour Party! No other government has sustained such a record of investment in education. Every one of these applicants has benefitted from the British education system. I can absolutely say the quality and quantity of applicants has consistently increased in recent years. Studies show that there are record academic results. More students at university, it’s an easy deduction that Labour’s investment in British youth has yielded these results. My complaint is that this achievement does not receive the acknowledgement it deserves. It’s one of the reasons I back David Miliband for Leader, he recognises how many achievements of the Labour government do not receive the recognition they deserve. This failure regrettably is the case within some parts of the Labour Party, so no wonder the wider media don’t give Labour the credit it deserves.
I also despair at the way the coalition is treating these bright young people who are the future of the British economy. By making the wrong decision in going for a greater level of cuts, and making them earlier, they send a bleak message to all these job hunters. Worse the Coalition government fails to understand simple Keynsian economics. A different balance of cuts as the previous Labour government proposed would have meant more employment and opportunity for young graduates. These are the clichéd bright young things who will grow our economy in the future. The employees who will acquire skills and knowledge which will be applied not only for their own benefit, but also by achieving in their careers they will pay the extra taxes, and create innovations which benefit society as a whole. So I despair for the many, many applicants I will not even interview.
It is not that they will miss out on one job, reading their applications it is clear they know how competitive the job market is. They face a government who when they are down, has decided to give their prospects a kicking. That’s a message Labour needs to ensure hits home.