'Young & Jobless', Month 3: Danielle's thoughts

Well we have a lot to catch up on........

Trying to explain pricing of this product is pretty difficult because it is governed by a lot of different factors for example mural size, the time it would take, materials I really need to see the space or at least have the size of the space as a guide so being asked on a radio show a price was pretty hard to gauge.

After the show it got me thinking that I may have bitten off more than I could chew and that maybe it wasn’t a good idea with the economic climate the way it is to be trying to start up a new business. It also worried me that I seemed to be putting all my eggs in one basket, so at the start of the month I set about putting applications in for different jobs from KFC to the RSPCA. I began to panic that soon my New Enterprise Allowance would drop to half and I wouldn’t be able to keep going without at least a part-time job. But fate stepped in and gave a helping hand……………….

Just as I had resigned myself to the fact that my business was going to be a non-starter I got my first call from the local school who were wanting a mural for the computer room/library. This mural consists of 20 canvas paintings making up a timeline. This stretches from the Big Bang to present day. I finally have my first paying commission. This gave me a great confidence boost; finally I knew that there was a market for my business. I called the local community centre back to see how they were getting on……

And that gave me my second mural. The local Community Centre wanted the mural finished for their communal garden. I’ve spent the second week of the Easter Holidays completing it with the help of everyone in the community centre. It was a fantastic experience and has given me an even bigger confidence boost, the people that I worked with were great and here were some fantastic artists involved, it’s going to look beautiful in the communal garden. They also managed to pay me what they could, which was really appreciated. They are also putting my name forward for further art projects within the local community, I’m dropping some business cards in next week. So on the business side of things It’s going great I just hope it carries on, even if I get one a month it’s an amazing feeling being able to work for yourself and know that it’s your business and it’s your hard work. It is also such a joy to do something you love to do for a living. Fingers crossed in 6 months time I’ll still be here painting murals.

In between doing the two murals, (which both started the same week) I also recorded a phone call for the next radio show which I spoke to a lovely German guy called Lion (Le-on) The idea behind the call was discuss Germany’s situation because they have a much lower unemployment rate. From what I could gather in the phone call Germany have mini jobs, where you can earn up to 400 euros per month tax free from a job and you can have many mini jobs that run alongside each other. From talking to Lion, these are really helpful for gaining much needed experience in the work place and earning at the same time. I think this is a workable scheme in Britain, we could choose certain job sectors such as bar/waiting staff and make these jobs part time only where by people could work say 16 hours a week in these roles but no more, within a full time job you could employ 3 people within the role where normally there would only be one. The unemployment figures would look better, business’ would not have to pay NI and Tax because of the low hours worked by each person, it would also employ 3 people for every one role. I do wonder if it would be a false economy but at the same time this system has worked in Germany, maybe it’s worth giving this a go. What do we have to lose with unemployment figures at their worst for years?

I think and hope that from what we have touched on through this series of radio shows the Government can take something from it, there are so many people in the UK working so hard to find work but looking at it at its most basic we don’t have enough jobs for the people we have unemployed. We have a recession where everyone is tightening their belts and we also have local high streets that are disappearing by the day, every day in the news we hear of a different business going into administration, I don’t know if this is fixable, I think it’s a case of riding this one out. I do think the Government need to look at better ways to help us as a whole because right now it isn’t working our unemployment figures are just rising. I also hope that more people will learn about the New Enterprise Scheme and It’s more widely advertised within the local Job Centre’s, someone might just have an idea like I had, and maybe with the help of the scheme they could start their own business.

Fingers crossed for the future.

This is a guest post from Danielle who took part in the 'NOISE Young & Jobless' radio documentary series, broadcast over 4 months on BBC 5Live in 2012. The programme followed four unemployed young people as they looked for work, hooking them up with mentors and advice on their journey. For more information about this project, the participants and mentors--see here--