Last week I was interviewed by Wade Danielson from The Entrepreneurs Library on 'Generation Jobless?'.
My name is Peter Vogel and I’m an entrepreneur myself. I started a company related to the labor market 8 years ago, where we technically bridge the gap between the education system and the labor market. Having done a PhD studying active labor market policies that help unemployed individuals transfer to self employment combined with my company gave me some insights into the youth labor market crisis that occurred over the past few years. I’ve started several companies over the years and have supported entrepreneurs starting up companies, I’ve invested in a few startups, and I teach and run the center for entrepreneurship at a university in Switzerland.
The Book’s Unique Quality (06:23)
Surprisingly there are very few books on the youth unemployment crisis and the vast majority of material that is being published on it is just governmental reports and policy reports. Media outlets all over the world cover the topic but just statistically, it hardly ever goes on the dramatic perspective on the crisis. That in itself, this case driven approach, this solution driven approach is what sets the book apart.
The Best Way To Engage (09:13)
It’s separated into two parts. The first part is more of a conceptual and theoretical part in order to give people insight so they get a clear understanding of the crisis. The second part is basically jumping from stakeholder to stakeholder: policies, educators, employers, entrepreneurs, parents, organizations, etc. and picks up very specific hands on solutions. So you can read the book from page 1 to the end or you can read it as part one and part two.
The Reader’s Takeaway (24:47)
It really depends on which angle the reader is taking. If we are talking about a business leader/entrepreneur then I think it’s really this idea of this business case for hiring young people as opposed to hiring senior individuals. It clearly spells out the advantages and disadvantages of hiring young people and what employers need to do to hire the right talent.
A Deep Dive Into The Book (12:32)
As I touched upon, it’s broadly sectioned into two parts with part one being structured in three core chapters. The first chapter is probably the most theoretical of all in the book, where it’s really about understanding why we are in this situation. Where did this whole crisis come from? What are the drivers? What are the causes? Which are broadly categorized in demand side factors and supply side factors and then mis-match factors between the two.
Chapter two is easier to digest and less theoretical. It basically gives some insight into who are today’s young people, the millennials, the digital natives, what characterizes them, and what is the contribution of this generational change and technological revolution that has taken place. It also dives into how this generation is handling the crisis and how employers need to be ready to employ them with incentives that match the desires of today’s talents. If employers don’t understand who they are and how they think then it’s very difficult to create incentive structures for them.
In the third chapter we talk about the big picture, the trends and the outlook. It discusses where we are going and industries and job profiles of the future. Most companies recruit and hire based on the needs of today instead of looking ahead and hiring based on the needs in the future. In order to stop doing this companies need to understand where the trends are going and what the future looks like in terms of industries, job profiles, and job requirements.
The second part is really from the crisis to the opportunity. There’s a lot of content here from different stakeholding groups. The essence of this second part is really the density and the proof of what is written by showing case studies. There are over 50 case studies from all around the world that provide examples of the crisis and solutions.
The Credibility/Inspiration Of The Author (01:45)
Even though I’m an engineer by training, out of coincidence I became an entrepreneur in the labor market. So I stumbled upon different gaps in the market, things that need to be fixed at the transition from education to labor market. This was a couple years before the youth unemployment crisis hit with the financial crisis as well. I (along with my business partner) already sensed that there was something wrong at the intersection between the education system and the labor market. We couldn’t really say what it was but we sensed something was going on. So through my PhD where I extensively worked with different ministries of employment all around the world, I got a bit more of academic insight on the unemployment crisis and what kind of solutions might be out there, one of course being entrepreneurship and self employment. So I took different angles onto this and 2013 I gave a talk on entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment. Two months later a publisher approached me and asked if I would be interested in writing a book on the topic and I said, “yes!”
Other Books Recommended By The Author (27:41)
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
More Information About This Book and The Author
Buy on Amazon today
His Website: www.generationjobless.eu
Add him to Twitter: @pevogel