In 1970 and the same city in 2010…..
3 April 2012
This is the ancient Chinese city of Shenzhen, on the South East coast of China and dates back as far as 5000BC. In 1979 this small fishing city about the size of Leicester had a population of 350,000 however in 1980 it was granted special economic zone status and with government support, by 2010 had grown to a population the size of 10 million people, the 5th biggest in China and 29th in the world.
Between 1980-1997 growth averaged at around 15% and since then has steadied at an impressive 5% (we would kill for that in the UK right now.) In 2009 the City has a GDP of $130bn meaning this city has an economy comparable to New Zealand or Hungary. Its close links with Hong Kong allows the city to have a vast trading and financial sector as well as manufacturing and high tech. However from the UK perspective the largest growing sector is service industry, which of course the UK is dependent on, more evidence that the UK needs to diversity as developing states develop their own service industry.
However the city does have some problems, high unemployment for example, however the city has been given every chance it needs with high speed rail, sound road networks, air links and higher education. It is said the 20% of Chinas PHD holders have worked in Shenzhen, can you think of any UK city that comes near any of this? Thought not.
25 January 2012
The government view: if you can’t afford it then move
My view: most of the UK can’t afford to live here- so we should emigrate
Aside from being cocky- emigration is in fact a serious problem facing the UK at the moment especially whilst the economy is underperforming. This chronic problem stems in part from the financial sector, whilst banks refuse to lend (whilst in profit) the economy won’t grow, the knock on effect of low job creation. A problem compounded with government cuts at a time when we need a private sector boom.
Those who can’t find work will do almost anything and many young educated intelligent people who worked hard to be tomorrow’s community and business leaders are finding their careers unfulfilling and their prospects uninspiring. For those who can find quality employment fuel and food prices are greatly increased from what they where 5 years ago and wages have not gone up in line- the simple fact is- for those who work the hardest, the rewards in the UK are simply not there (unless you work in banking, that is.)
Like in the 1980s the UK is producing a lost generation, but there is one big difference- globalisation.
Young people are now accustomed to travelling; we are now understand and embrace multiculturalism, most of us have been abroad and some of us have left the EU. Additionally the internet has bought a world of research material, information and opportunities to our figure tips.
As the economy has globalised, our ability to move around the world has increased.
Simply put- if the UK isn’t offering young people what we need- then we will move away- and we are doing in our droves.
This isn’t about the greed of the individual, how, in any liberal society can we argue against an individual wanting to improve their lot through hard work? Emigration is a founding cornerstone of the USA, where people travelled in search of a better life.
This is about the UK economy, with a chronic lack of quality employment and business opportunity when people leave our soggy shores it is highly unlikely they will return. We are denying the UK thousands of talented young people, who all they ask in return, is a quality job with a quality wage with some prospects.
You think this isn’t happening- go and look at your facebook page- how many of your friends list are either abroad, have been or are seriously considering it? Of my 210 friends I counted 25 on this list- all of them are aged between 20 and 40 and they are the kind of people any UK business would be crying out for.
Take note, Dave.