Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Business Week Examines Economically "Lost Generation"

Business Week magazine's October 19 issue featured a cover story entitled "The Lost Generation." As the article notes:

Affected are a range of young people, from high school dropouts, to college grads, to newly minted lawyers and MBAs across the developed world from Britain to Japan. One indication: In the U.S., the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds has climbed to more than 18%, from 13% a year ago.

Further, as detailed in the article, negative consequences of these employment problems include depressed lifetime earnings, low worker morale, and stress and mental health problems.

An accompanying article evaluates the merits of Germany's apprenticeship system for youth who pursue early job training as opposed to higher education and professional careers. One young man featured in the article "g[ave] up full-time schooling at age 15" for a training program that involved "alternating two weeks of on-the-job training with one week of classes at a vocational school." In addition to heating, plumbing, and air-conditioning, other tracks "rang[e] from baker to hair stylist and bank clerk to video editor." The article notes many benefits of the apprenticeship system, but also some risks, especially in a global economic downturn.

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