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A lazy generation?

(76 Posts)
nanna8 Mon 25-Sep-23 06:22:23

On the radio just now they were interviewing an 18 year old boy who said his generation were the laziest ever and none of his friends wanted to work, just receive and spend their social security money. I was a bit surprised that a young bloke would say this and I haven’t actually seen this amongst my grandchildren but perhaps he is right. Any thoughts on this ?

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 25-Sep-23 06:27:53

My 18yr old GC has just gone to University along with thousands of other 18yr olds.
I imagine the interviewer looked for a specific number of 18 yr olds who fitted the profile they were looking for.

cornergran Mon 25-Sep-23 06:31:40

Same here nanna. Our teenage grandchildren are far from lazy and generally highly motivated. Maybe different influences at play. As with much in the world not something to generalise about.

BlueBelle Mon 25-Sep-23 06:31:48

Well I have 7 grandkids and they are all hard workers 4 already in good careers ( teacher, plumber, wind farm technician and hotel receptionist) ,one in a temporary job while working her way round the world before settling down and two still in education uni and 6th form and both working outside their education one in Costa one in a hairdressers
They have all had part time jobs when at school from aged 14
All their friends are workers so I firmly disagree plus the amount of posts I see on FB for youngsters looking for part time holiday jobs says differently
Perhaps that’s the case amongst his peer group but I haven’t seen it at all

Calendargirl Mon 25-Sep-23 07:20:59

My 18 year old GS has just finished his A levels.

Didn’t want to go down the Uni route, but no clear idea what he wants to do.

Has applied for several jobs and apprenticeships, heard nothing so far.

Am sure if he can get through to interview stage, he would come across as a suitable candidate for whatever job it is, he is intelligent, personable, willing, but no luck as yet.

He wants to get some work experience behind him and hopefully then have a better idea of a future career.

karmalady Mon 25-Sep-23 07:29:50

Depends on his parents, their example and aspirations. Most teenagers are not at all lazy

nanna8 Mon 25-Sep-23 07:38:15

I’m glad. I know one of mine in her early 20s works too hard, if anything, to pay the mortgage with 3 babies. Husband goes to work all day then she goes to work when he gets home. I couldn’t stand working that hard. They must have sought out someone with those views for the radio program. Another is a nurse and another a trainee doctor - certainly not lazy! Thought maybe there is a different set of youngsters out there that are not on my radar.

Doodledog Mon 25-Sep-23 07:57:37

‘Lazy’ is so subjective, isn’t it? Who knows what the boy meant by it, and how would he know about previous generations anyway? At 18, his friends would get very little by way of benefits, so I don’t think they would want to live on them. Maybe he just meant that they would prefer not to have to work (which is fair enough - many people work because they have to, rather than want to - or maybe it was bravado because he didn’t have a job so was pretending not to want one. It could be that he and his friends are still studying and have been told that that is lazy.

I don’t think it’s possible to generalise about whole generations like that, so I’d say we need more details.

NotSpaghetti Mon 25-Sep-23 08:11:32

I think some see the gap between the "haves" and "have-nots" as dispiriting.
If you only expect to earn minimum wage as a young person there must feel little point.

If you have a career planned you probably feel better about working hard.

ginny Mon 25-Sep-23 08:28:12

As in many instances we cannot generalise.
Our 21 year old Grandson has a job he enjoys although not highly paid He also does volunteer work for a local hospice and is thinking of applying to train as a leader for ‘Beavers and Cubs’
Most of the young people I know seem to be hard at work in a job or studying.

M0nica Mon 25-Sep-23 08:58:20

There have always been a group of people in society who are work shy. I can remember my MiL pointing out people in her village who somehow managed to get by with occasional odd jobs, and who were known to skimp anything they did. People she described as 'work-shy'.

All the young people I know are pursuing careers; one training to be a solicitor, one making progress in a big company, another a sports instructor. DGD is just 16 and has decided, with reluctance to give up her Saturday ballet class in order to get a Saturday job to earn extra pockwt money.

AS ginny says, we cannot generalise. There will always be the workshy in society, but many more earning their living and working hard.

eazybee Mon 25-Sep-23 09:06:26

I listened to the Independent MP for Blackpool, sorry, don't know his name, and he had been working with the services specifically to help young people find work; apparently Blackpool has the highest unemployment rate in the country, and he was angry.
He said that many of the 'young' unemployed, age I think 18-25, flatly refused to make any attempt to find work. They were invited for interview, didn't turn up, blocked their phones, and refused to answer the door when visited at home. Most were living at home, and as long as they had their phones, access to technology and food, didn't care about work, and their parents endorsed it.I believe there were 2,000 job vacancies.
I see a few of the pupils I taught in the past without any visible means of employment, and it isn't the ones from the poorest homes, it is the ones with indulgent parents.

henetha Mon 25-Sep-23 10:27:22

Three of my grandchildren are anything but lazy. They all seem to work very hard. The other one was a bit lazy but is now improving considerably.

Cabbie21 Mon 25-Sep-23 10:41:38

Living on benefits is not easy. There are conditions to fulfil, to show you are looking for work, and sanctions are applied if you don’t do what you are expected to do. That means a cut in the already low amount of money for 18year olds. Maybe they have indulgent parents?

Redhead56 Mon 25-Sep-23 12:35:01

It is not a generation problem some people are brought up with a dependency culture attitude. They learn from their parents to depend on benefits and not to work for a living.

There is for some people no option but to claim benefits because of specific personal circumstances. But there are always people who will milk the system and get away with claiming benefits they think they are entitled too.

Theexwife Mon 25-Sep-23 12:51:10

I do think that many 18-year-olds today are not self-motivated, if their parents are then it seems that they are the ones who sort out the university process, book accommodation and even pack their stuff and transport them to university.

It is mostly the parents that nag, cajole or suggest employment for those who do not want to go into further education.

In previous generations, it was more likely the 18-year-old that would solely decide what they wanted to do and sort that out themselves.

nanna8 Tue 26-Sep-23 00:47:33

This boy on the radio said he was training at a TAFE ollege and had a part time job as well as doing handyman jobs for people ( must have been quite talented with his hands!) He said most of his friends had dropped out of their schools/ courses and just sat around getting paid social security which they spent on having fun. Presumably they were still living at home at that age. He sounded a sensible young man. Very yoing people, though and I wondered what they would be doing in 5 years time, maybe a completely different story.

Grammaretto Tue 26-Sep-23 01:04:54

Such polar opposites! I wonder how the numbers stack up?
The young people in Blackpool who have no interest in working, no ambition and appear to be wasting their lives away and then the youngsters we know who work almost too hard, are highly motivated and have found a purpose.

I wish them all well but I think the second group are happier.

Luckily my DGC are certainly not lazy.
The 16yr old, who is working for 6 Highers, has just run a marathon. I wish I had a fraction of his energy.

M0nica Tue 26-Sep-23 17:00:23

When you have families where the parents have never or rarely worked aand even grandparents, is it surprising that the children lack a work ethic?

Generally if children grow up in a working family they are not work shy.

Grantanow Wed 27-Sep-23 12:20:25

Pointless generalising from one comment by one person.

Ilovecheese Wed 27-Sep-23 12:22:46


Pointless generalising from one comment by one person.


Grandma2002 Wed 27-Sep-23 12:36:40

I have four GCs 2 boys and 2 girls and they all work. Elder GD just graduated and all through uni worked, grandson doing a year out from degree course at a large pharmaceutical but while at uni does Barista work, painting & decorating and auditing books, two younger GCs both work at cafes. Younger GD just decorated (painted) our sitting room. All have done or are doing Duke of Edinburgh awards. I am so proud of them all, so hardworking both at their jobs and studies. I'm lucky and am boasting!!

Dinahmo Wed 27-Sep-23 12:43:36


I’m glad. I know one of mine in her early 20s works too hard, if anything, to pay the mortgage with 3 babies. Husband goes to work all day then she goes to work when he gets home. I couldn’t stand working that hard. They must have sought out someone with those views for the radio program. Another is a nurse and another a trainee doctor - certainly not lazy! Thought maybe there is a different set of youngsters out there that are not on my radar.

Nothing new in that. During the fifties my dad worked during the day and occasionally at night and my mum worked nights as a nurse. There were 4 of us young children and they were renting. They managed to buy a house in 1961 because my mum got encephalitis whilst working and received £750 in compensation which was used for the deposit.

annodomini Wed 27-Sep-23 13:44:47

All my grandchildren - except the youngest, but give him time - went out and looked for - and secured - part-time jobs while still at school. Delivering newspapers started at 13, then there were jobs in fish and chip shops, pizza takeaways, pub kitchens. Not one of them could be called 'lazy'.

WonderBra Wed 27-Sep-23 13:59:39

I think they picked someone who fit their brief. I don't think the majority are lazy, but I do think they are far more assertive as a rule, and less keen to be exploited, which some employers would see as lazy. I know a teen who was asked to work a 3 week unpaid trial for a job, when he said that he's not be willing to work full time unpaid for that length of time (he'd have learnt the tasks within a shift, maybe 2 tops) they came out with the whole 'teens are lazy, don't want to put themselves out' mantra.
If he'd done the 3 weeks, there's no guarantee that he'd have been employed after (or would they just have found another 3 weeks), and he was concerned regarding both insurance if something happened, and that he'd not be able to look for other work.