Why We Must All Exercise Our Right To Participate

University tuition fees have skyrocketed and Sixth Form Colleges have recently seen their funding halved, and the latest statistics are showing that unemployment is now rising amongst Brits.

As Vocational Arts & Technology Studio schools like the Brits School have also faced cuts in Arts Funding, what does this mean for the prospects of musicians and creatives in our much lauded ‘Creative Economy’.

In the job market, its expected that by 2020 almost 35% more jobs could be lost or replaced by automation as we power through this digital revolution. So if you add it up – young people from working class backgrounds now face fewer opportunities to gain crucial skills and training, a university education and access to jobs. Sound scary?

Even though there’s been a rise in ‘freelancing’ in the UK, what has not often been asked is whether this is because of a new spirit of innovation or just because there are fewer available jobs, thus forcing people to find alternatives. A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that “Poverty rates are higher among all ethnic minority groups compared with white British people in the UK”.

So what does the word self-employment actually refer to when it comes to work – ‘It can include running a limited company or professional practice, sub-contracting, doing freelance work or simply ‘working for yourself’.

Whereas the rise in self-employment is often viewed as an increase in entrepreneurialism, the worrying trend is the actual fall of young entrepreneurs amongst black ethnic minority groups. The same report also found that the reasons why this was growing were also unclear – “Black Africans and Black Caribbeans are also more likely to be in poverty than average, but again do not appear to use self-employment as an alternative.”

So what happens when the need to become self-employed rises because there are fewer jobs and access to creative skills? One road may lead to growing social unrest and with that a parallel growth in new movements in the vein of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. More importantly what is also now needed is for more young people to be part of the political debate. Not being a part of that debate is no longer an option for the youth of Britain.

While the U.S is debating the recent attempts to roll back the voting rights, Obama recently penned an open letter to the New York Times saying;

We must exercise our right as citizens to vote, for the truth is that too often we disenfranchise ourselves – Obama

Regardless of your political affiliation now is the time to get active and go a little further to get involved and ask questions that dig a little deeper. Social media is a gateway as well as an influential platform when it comes to politics and social issues and an opportunity to find out how you can make a difference.

It may feel like there’s little that can be done here but effective political debate begins first in the community by building networks and working actively to grow our local economies.

Our creative contributors are all budding freelancers and we continue to build our platform into a creative movement to showcase new talent – so get in touch if you want to be a part of Nation of Billions.

We all need the have the ‘audacity to dream’.