Unemployment in Britain is rapidly decreasing holding at 4.2% compared with the population, as opposed to the almost double 8.3% we faced five years ago in 2012. According to the Office of National Statistics 790,000 of the 1,425,000 unemployed constitute this country's youth; aged 16 to 24 that are not employed or in education (NEET). This statistic has been drastically affected by the steady increase of employment in the UK with a decline of an entire percent of 16-24’s falling within NEET since December 2011. This in conjunction with a two million increase of this country's youth not in education is a clear indication that people are more inclined to work as opposed to continuing with their studies.

But where are they?

Britain’s working youth

With the days of being told University is a necessity to make it in the working world a thing of the past, more and more Brits are beginning their careers early. Many will find a foothold in the retail industry, fast food or manual labour, others will find employment through the serendipitous circumstance of their upbringing. For some, they will find a means of making money online, such as myself, and a small percentage will find themselves ravelled in The Secret world of residential sales. The latter an easily obtainable, any age, zero experience golden ticket into a life of promised freedom, fast earnings and speedy career progression... Or so it may seem.

'No Experience Required'

Imagine reading these words as a sixteen-year-old school leaver, caps locked and firmly cemented above a reputable job description for an equally respectable business boasting a whopping £17,000-£25,000 pa. This description, even by a man of twenty-three’s standards such as myself, exceeds any expectations in terms of earning potential.

In disbelief I checked the company's address, viewed their website with a reluctant click on the link posted on Indeed.com and confirmed the expected salary of a “Marketing Team Leader” as posted. Everything checked out and with that I applied as someone eager to continue a career in digital marketing as the post described.

Waiting room

Upon arriving and with ten minutes to spare I was welcomed by a short, bald man I had overheard on my way up the creaky, warehouse-esk styled stairs describing an Indian fellow who ran the local fast food van by a word I cannot put on this article. Assuming I had merely misheard the racial slur in their conversation I extended my hand to greet him and with a brisk shake he pointed towards a corner sofa filled with a veritable array of personalities. The first was a kid aged sixteen who was so nervous the heels of his shoes clapped and echoed in the silent waiting room. He said this was his first interview and how he couldn’t wait to distribute leaflets. The second was a middle-aged man sporting a beard and a calm demeanour.

He spoke with me briefly about his past experience as a salesman or "brand ambassador" that he had obtained as just one of the hundreds of roles he undertook during his travels in a campervan across the world. The third was another lad aged nineteen who merely grunted at me until I mentioned the team leader position I had applied for to which he replied, “… So you might be my boss?” After which he passed the time preemptively seeking a promotion for the position he thought he had applied for which turned out to be a trainee window maker. Something was clearly wrong here.


I was welcomed into his office with a fling of the door and pointed to an empty, frayed seat. I sat down, opened my laptop and began described marketing strategies, campaigns and my experiences in digital marketing.

He simply stared at me as I talked through my intentions concisely summarised on a PowerPoint presentation with a script I had memorized to the letter to show my commitment for a role I knew was out of my league. Once I was finished he asked what the primary role of marketing entails within the company. It was then I realised it was another “Brand Ambassador” role; a subdivision of sales which teaches relentless, hard selling tactics with pinpoint precision to pre-scripted conversations as part of a five-step process. I began to pack my things explaining how I was not going to be pulled into another pyramid scheme until he assured me it would be a team leader position as described. Sparking my curiosity I agreed to attend the first day of training. This interview proved to be but an ominous prologue to a series of events that haunt and embarrass me to this day…