Your Elders Know Better

8 Mar

As I was walking to break the other day, a colleague pointed out a 73 year old man who still worked in my workplace. She seemed a bit annoyed but I couldn’t understand it, if someone can do the work then why on earth shouldn’t they?! It’s only when my colleague explained themselves that I understood. Thousands of young people can’t get jobs because of a lack of them. Is it fair then that people who should now be retiring take the jobs young people need to start their lives with?

With our terrible economy at the moment and only a pension to live on, could said elderly person then need the money to live on? You could argue that while an older person has a pension to bide by, young people have the dole. However the dole is there for the young people who cannot get a job, a pension is there so that the people who have worked all their lives can now retire and no longer have to work.

I will agree that ‘back in the day’, people looked at work in a very different way. Although I am stereotyping, I believe that a lot of young people do not understand the true meaning of working a full day, either getting bored or skiving, whereas 50+ years ago, workers were breaking their backs trying to bring money home. It could be debated that older colleagues have a chance to work on because so many young people are choosing to go on benefits etc. but it isn’t always a choice. A lot of young people have to abide by these benefits due to a lack of jobs for them to take.

So what age should it all stop? If you are to stop someone working at a certain age, what age should that be? The older a person gets, in the majority, more and more things will start to become wrong with them or fragile so that they may not be able to work to their greatest degree. This is not helpful for an employer who may want to take on someone who is not going to be as costly to them. By this I mean (not showing the human side) elderly people are more likely to have sick days and be slower than someone who is a lot younger and who has not used their body as much. However this may also be untrue, most of the older people I have met know the true value of a good day’s work and so will not skive off work due to a hangover or a lie-in. Young people may also abuse their bodies somewhat more than an older person would have done, with fast food, drugs and alcohol and so may not be as fit as their older counterpart.

There are both pros and cons of hiring an older or younger worker but this still does not address if it is fair to keep jobs from younger people so that older people can work on so I am going to use myself as an example. I have graduated with a well-earned degree in English with Creative Writing, earning myself a very happy 2:1. I now work in a local supermarket which is a satisfying and rewarding job but maybe not something that I went to university for. This proves that there aren’t all the jobs out there for young people. However I have also had money problems and been bored and just wanted something to do, which may be what some of the older generation are experiencing. Therefore I do not believe it is fair to categorise each party in this way but I do know that there aren’t a lot of jobs in the way for young people, however I would not want an older person to starve not enough income.

About the writer: Becky has just finished a degree in English and Creative Writing and is very happy with her 2:1. She is friendly, bubbly and just so happens to be the co-creator of Yellow Bunting. She hopes you enjoy it and that you get involved!

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