In a world where it is increasingly easy for young people to think that you wake up one morning and your career as a footballer/popstar/Big Brother contestant begins, the government has wisely launched an online #Firstjobs campaign to show that everyone needs to start somewhere. Education Minister Esther McVey is clearly keen to spread the message that when it comes to work it is a case of ‘the earlier you start, the better’ and that work shouldn’t wait until someone has left college or university. And far from being useless and irrelevant, she feels that these experiences leave us grounded with the value of hard work, and teach us important life skills.
A few publications have taken up the story with examples of how the rich and famous weren’t afraid to start from the bottom and develop work ethic along the way. HR Grapevine and the DailyMail Online tell us how celebrities such as Lenny Henry, Davina McCall and Dragon Den’s Deborah Meaden took their first working steps. And the twitter hashtag #firstjobs is awash with other stories.
I think it is hard to deny that this is a good step from the government but how effective it is remains to be seen. It is easy to see how celebrity culture has had a negative impact on the perceived value of hard work but the other side to the coin is that there are still plenty young people desperate to start gaining some kind of work experience but employers aren’t always willing to give them a chance. Getting that ‘first foot in the door’ so to speak, can be tricky business.