Letter: No more `safe' white-collar jobs

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No more `safe' white-collar jobs

Sir: Yvette Cooper (article, 30 December) sees middle-class anxiety over jobs as an illusion, but a valuable one, prompting sympathy for those whose jobs really are both fleeting and unrewarding.

But Ms Cooper should not assume that the middle class consists entirely of young, highly-educated job-hoppers. For some years, many older middle- class people have been losing the "safe" jobs they acquired many years previously. These workers possess neither the qualifications of the youthful go-getters, nor the street-wise skills of working-class survivors. Many are opting for "early retirement" at 50, rather than face the unequal battle for a job.

By all means let us have more educational opportunities for a dispossessed labour force, but let us also provide solid support and career guidance for those middle-class people for whom redundancy is not just another career move. This is a task which local colleges should cheerfully take on, as they did in the Eighties. Then the "bridge" programmes for unemployed white-collar workers flourished, surprisingly, under Margaret Thatcher.

ROLAND PEARSON

Pinner, Middlesex

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