Friday, 28 March 2014
Reforming pensions and demographics - No work until your 25?
There was much fair comment that losing people in the prime of their lives and losing their skills sets would be a challenge. I doubt this applies to all professions equally but clearly some, like technology, could not survive such a break. Hairdressers and gardeners, perhaps less so.
Another way of moving the goalposts is to extend childhood into the mid-20's. Anyone who has grown-up kids will know that in many ways this has effectively happened already. But for the UK we still maintain a Dickensian approach to schooling, which if reformed, might help to both improve our children's overall education and add in the time needed to help with extending working lives into people's mid-70's.
In many Countries, such as Sweden, Switzerland, even China, kids do not start primary school until they are 7. In the UK they start at age 5. As an adult and having worked with people extensively from all of these Countries I would never know the difference. Perhaps though there is some as they learn creativity and play for another 2 years? The studies into this suggest this maybe the case but are inconclusive.
Moreover, in the US, where I went to University, all Uni courses are a minimum of 4 years and some are even 5 years. Scotland too has 4 year courses.
Just changing our system of education to this model would add 3 years onto the time until full work was started. Children could do primary school to 13, secondary school to 19/20 and then University or apprenticeship training until 24. Thus only entering the full world of adult work at 25ish.
Some of issues around children staying at home have been defeated in recent years by the sheer cost of housing forcing them to stay with parents in any event when having small salaries. In London by way the average age of house buying is 35!
Finally, none of this should impact on the State negatively. Children staying at home until 7 means no overall increase in school time and extending university or apprenticeship training again has minimal impact on the National Budget.