So, what can be done about the problem of youth unemployment? It’s a massive problem with no clear solutions, and this is party the reason why it has already escalated to such worrying heights. Understandably, individual European governments have not got money to throw at the problem. It is therefore necessary to think outside the box, and suggest alternatives like becoming freelancer writers or journalists. Clearly, there are downsides to this too – job instability and lack of previous work to name a couple – and certain governments don’t make this a particularly easy path for young people to take. In Spain, amongst other countries, freelance workers are required to pay a certain amount of money to the government per month for the privilege of not working for a company. This means that for many, especially those just starting to work, freelancing is not a viable option as they do not make enough profit once they have paid their fee to the government. Another option for young people looking to go down a less conventional route is in start-up companies – either working for one, or creating their own. This too can have its disadvantages, but no job is completely perfect. Start-ups can become very successful with some hard work and an innovative idea, and investment can come from private companies both in their home country and abroad. The added benefit is of course that start-ups can employ more people once they start to grow. In the mean time, however, governments should focus on keeping young people in school for as long as possible, so that they leave with decent qualifications and have various options open when deciding what to do with their future.
(PS – sorry for the cheesy photo (which is from http://www.transmitpromo.com))
If you’re ever bored in London – which is basically an oxymoron anyway – go to Camden Market. It’s probably one of the coolest, craziest and most interesting places in the city. Contrary to popular belief (actually I don’t know what the popular belief is) Camden Market is not all goth clothes and piercing studios. Apart from the fake designer (sorry, you’re not fooling anybody) handbags and Union Jack print sunglasses, there’s actually a ton of really nice, cheap and often handmade jewelry on sale in the crafts part of the market. It’s also a good place to get unique ornaments and stuff like vintage posters and Beatles records. My favourite part of the whole place is, of course, the food. Outside by Camden Lock, there are a bunch of food stands where you can get more or less any cuisine you want. There’s often a paella stall, a Jamaican curry stall, an Indian stall, a Chinese stall, crepes and waffles… Extremely popular with foreign teenagers on school trips, Camden Market is just as much fun for those of us who live here, and even if you don’t buy anything, it’s still fun to go and have a look around. If you have time, go to Cyberdog, which is probably one of the weirdest places I have ever been in my life. It’s like walking into an alternate universe with music so loud you can’t hear the person next to you speak, and ‘dancers’ dressed in silver covered in neon paint ‘dancing’ in cage things attached to the walls…..
Every 21st of June or every first day of summer in Paris, there’s a really cool cultural event called « Fête de la musique ». It’s a day dedicated to music, it’s a « music day » and its purpose is to celebrate the longest day of the year. It starts at 6pm and lasts until around 1am. During this period you can be as loud and creative as you can ! It’s very nice because the 21st of June is usually a very hot day in Paris which makes the evening just perfect. Many streets are closed to cars and are invaded by musicians, dancers and mostly young people and teens wandering around, stopping to watch and eventually dance !
It’s not only a day to play music but also to discover new artists. Music is heard anywhere you go, and it’s also very different from one place to another, some are professional, some are just a group of 5 boys having fun playing songs of their favorite bands. If you go to the Jewish neighbourhood you might see a bunch of rabbis dancing on a techno remix of traditionnal jewish music. The gay neighbourhood is quite epic too with all those men dressed as women and women dressed as men getting crazy on loud club music. I think the most romantic spot remains the quays of Notre-Dame where groups of friends gather with their instruments watching the sun set on the Seine. If you come to Paris, try to be there with friends on June 21st ! It’s a really fun way to visit the city by night.