How can we use the young unemployed and give them skills
whilst we do it?
At the moment, young people are having difficulty finding a
worthwhile job. We are paying them unemployment benefit and they sit at
home desperately trying to find work. Many of them have technical degrees/qualifications;
some of them don't.
We have a commitment to the EU to hit a recycling target.
So far, although we are apparently quite good, we are not anywhere near
as good as some of the countries in the E.U.
One solution, that would benefit both the unemployed and the
country, would be to use some of our young people to recycle computers and
We nearly all have computers in our homes and, as we know,
each year they get better and cheaper. We like to upgrade on a fairly
regular basis. What do we do with our redundant computers? What do
companies do with their old computers? We either take them to the local
dump, terrified that if we have not wiped the hard drive, someone will get hold
of our data and take our identity, or we stuff them in a shed somewhere, hoping
that one day they will be worth a fortune on the antiques market. We try
and fob them off to our granny, after all, she won't be playing computer games
on it, but alas, she wants to be on the internet with a fast connection and our
old computer just doesn't hack it. Hence
our need to upgrade.
Inside this machine that still works perfectly well, if a
bit slowly, are lots and lots of bits of rare earths and precious metals.
At present, when we've carried this big bulky thing down to the recycling
tip, trusting in the belief that "the recycling guys" will protect
our identity and all that stuff, we have no idea what happens to the thing.
We actually, pack it all up and ship it off to foreign lands, where cheap
labour harvests the rare earths and precious metals and land fill sites get the
rest. Why can't we do this? Why can't we set up shop in every town
and village, maybe using an empty premises, to collect these computers and use
the young unemployed to strip them? We could have a trained IT hardware
engineer in situ at all times, who could teach the young people all about the
gubbings inside this machine, get them to strip out the bits and bobs we need,
and maybe even use other bits to re-build or upgrade some of the slightly
better equipment that is dropped off at the site. We could maybe teach
them how to fix computers that people bring in, or build new ones.
We would then be training young people to
re-build/fix/upgrade computers at the same time as stripping out rare earths,
precious metals, which we, as a country, could then re-sell on the market to
companies who need them. With the money generated, we would then be able
to pay for the IT engineer, cover the unemployment benefit shortfall, give a
young person training for a worthwhile career in the future and, of course,
help to save the planet.
A win win win win outcome I think.