Ideas to help alleviate poverty and brain drain within the UK. Watch

Themysticalegg
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After watching documentaries by Vice on the 'Teenage Heroin Epidemic' and 'Life after steel' in Swansea and Port Talbot (Not posting the link due to the 18+ nature of the first one) due to interest in the area as a student in Wales. It has got me thinking on ideas to help reduce poverty and increase opportunities in the UK. Another issue is the movement of skilled labour from less prosperous areas to wealthier ones.

Yes I am naive and money does unfortunately not grow on trees but I believe the below could help to alleviate poverty in less well off regions of the UK. Many of mine are related to Wales but please talk about areas you are interested in! What ideas do you have and what do you think?

This is the first actual debate post I've made, hope I haven't done anything wrong!

1. Improve transport links in terms of train frequency, speed and stations connected. E.g. Railway lines are not electrified past Cardiff going west so there is potentially less social mobility for people in Western regions as they are not able to commute as far in distance due to slower/less frequent trains and therefore have access to less jobs.
2. Schemes to retrain the unemployed into jobs in demand.
3. Students in Wales pay £3000 for tuition, however some leave for more prosperous areas in SE and London for employment. Leading to a brain drain, more investment should be placed in emerging job sectors such as Fintech and Biotechnology to keep skilled labour in the regions.
4. Diversify the mix of employment opportunities in an area. In Swansea closing the coal mines effective shafted a large % of the population into unemployment, without a replacement. History nearly repeated itself in Port Talbot with the threatening of the closure of the Tata Steel plant.
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ByEeek
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I suppose a question worth asking is why is it a bad thing that people move to areas of opportunity? Many former prosperous areas of sputh Wales only became so after the discovery of raw materials. That has all gone now. You could argue that it is simply reverting to its pre industrial state?
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Molseh
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Honestly, for such a relatively well off and small country, we really should have a better transport system. Where you live shouldn't be such an obstacle for work in this day and age in the UK.
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Themysticalegg
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(Original post by ByEeek)
I suppose a question worth asking is why is it a bad thing that people move to areas of opportunity? Many former prosperous areas of sputh Wales only became so after the discovery of raw materials. That has all gone now. You could argue that it is simply reverting to its pre industrial state?
I do 100% agree with you that it is simply reverting to its pre-industrial state and it makes sense for everyone to run off to areas of opportunity however it leaves the place they originate from in tatters as more and more skilled labour run away. However, I believe more investment should be made to encourage investment into South Wales to help drive opportunities. For example, the poverty rate is 25% in Wales far higher than the UK average. At the moment there is nothing to attract companies into South West Wales apart from cheap labour. (Call Centre economy) With completely woeful transport links. (one train per hour to London Paddington) Even though I am moving to the South East and am a hypocrite I feel so bad for the area I've lived in for 3 years. One day, I want to come back if I ever have the power to create some form of change, however that's quite a naive thought. Even to make a business that employs 5 people. Many in power forget South West Wales exists.
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Themysticalegg
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(Original post by Molseh)
Honestly, for such a relatively well off and small country, we really should have a better transport system. Where you live shouldn't be such an obstacle for work in this day and age in the UK.
We really should have a more balanced better transport system at least. We've spent £55.7bn on HS2, however the electrification of railway lines between Cardiff and Swansea got abandoned at a cost of £433m. I'm sure this is also the case for many other areas of the UK.
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HumanBrian
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Tution fees can be £20,000/year and it won't matter because the UK system of student loans is pretty much a graduate tax, you will pay £20/week pretty much forever no matter how much you own.

Transport around Swansea isn't that bad. I used to commute from Swansea to Cardiff, not really worth doing. takes about 2h and it's really expensive. More connections won't change much.

Not everyone can be retrained, not everyone bother to go trough it.

"Poverty" in first world countries is just pure laziness.

If you do not want to work in heavy industry and it's support infrastructure, move somewhere else.

Fintech is a highly competitive field of applied mathematics, not really for everyone. Same with biotech if you do not want to work on cow insemination systems, you need a Ph.D, again not for everyone.

If you live in the UK and you are not disabled your poverty is on you.

(Original post by Themysticalegg)
After watching documentaries by Vice on the 'Teenage Heroin Epidemic' and 'Life after steel' in Swansea and Port Talbot (Not posting the link due to the 18+ nature of the first one) due to interest in the area as a student in Wales. It has got me thinking on ideas to help reduce poverty and increase opportunities in the UK. Another issue is the movement of skilled labour from less prosperous areas to wealthier ones.

Yes I am naive and money does unfortunately not grow on trees but I believe the below could help to alleviate poverty in less well off regions of the UK. Many of mine are related to Wales but please talk about areas you are interested in! What ideas do you have and what do you think?

This is the first actual debate post I've made, hope I haven't done anything wrong!

1. Improve transport links in terms of train frequency, speed and stations connected. E.g. Railway lines are not electrified past Cardiff going west so there is potentially less social mobility for people in Western regions as they are not able to commute as far in distance due to slower/less frequent trains and therefore have access to less jobs.
2. Schemes to retrain the unemployed into jobs in demand.
3. Students in Wales pay £3000 for tuition, however some leave for more prosperous areas in SE and London for employment. Leading to a brain drain, more investment should be placed in emerging job sectors such as Fintech and Biotechnology to keep skilled labour in the regions.
4. Diversify the mix of employment opportunities in an area. In Swansea closing the coal mines effective shafted a large % of the population into unemployment, without a replacement. History nearly repeated itself in Port Talbot with the threatening of the closure of the Tata Steel plant.
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fallen_acorns
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capitalism when on a national or even global scale is a death sentence for small towns. Look at the UK, and you can see the options towns have:

A, become a commuter town and feed off a larger city
B, become a retirement town and cater to an older, wealthier base who will spend money locally and don't need to rely on work for their income
C, become a tourist town and thrive for half the year

Or fail and watch your young struggle or leave, watch business that don't have to be with you desert you.. your shops close, your wealth creep away etc. etc.

Its inevitable. In the past it was stopped by a natural form of protectionism - transport and communication. You simply couldn't get out of your area easily, without a difficult journey, so communities were much more self-reliant, and had stronger internal economies, as well as their external links. Communication was also a natural form of protectionism.. people didn't want to be away from their families who they relied on, and without technology, moving away was a big deal. So you lived effectively in a capitalist system with lots of small scale protectionist restrictions that kept small towns going.

These days all of the natural protectionism has broken down. and as a result under un-controlled national capitalism, things will gravitate together. Money will gravitate towards money, work will be generated near more work, and people will group around resources.

The only ways of stopping it are to either:

A, re-instate artifical protectionism, that mirrors the natural limmitations of the past
B, introduce greater policies that forcably re-distrubte wealth from the rich areas to the poor.

A is vastly impractical, and could never work in our technological age. Imagine trying to tell kids that they weren't allowed to live in their town and commute elsewhere.. or that their local shop couldn't import its products and must rely on local producers and crafts people. Goodbye to your modern lifestyle.

B is the only option that we really have. Its not as dirrect as taking money from london and giving it to a seaside town in the north.. but it can come in the form of greater council funding, and subsidies for business and infrastructure projects in those areas.

B isn't fair in a pure sense, but if we don't, the towns will disappear and we will slowly group more and more into cities and the surrounding commuter belts.

I am not a huge fan of some of the transport proposals. Some ammount to nothing more than increasing the commuter belts. I don't think that's a good solution, it burdens workers with greater and greater commutes, and doesn't solve the fact that the wealth and resources are still massed in the cities. It also doesn't help to create local pride and communities, when the majority of people spend all their week elsewhere.

Greater large-scale transport links are brilliant, those can make running a business in more distant area far more possible, allowing people to work and create jobs within the area itself, but just extending commuter belts is a stop-gap, not a full solution.
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Themysticalegg
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(Original post by HumanBrian)
Tution fees can be £20,000/year and it won't matter because the UK system of student loans is pretty much a graduate tax, you will pay £20/week pretty much forever no matter how much you own.

Agreed, mine will only be £360 per year which is not much in comparison to my wage. It may as well be a tax you only pay the loan back after £25716.

Transport around Swansea isn't that bad. I used to commute from Swansea to Cardiff, not really worth doing. takes about 2h and it's really expensive. More connections won't change much.

It might entice more investment into areas west of Swansea as rents are cheaper and it may allow more people to commute from deprived areas get jobs in Cardiff and then the extra expendable income they get could be spent at the areas they come from such as Carmarthen. Improving the local economy slightly?

Not everyone can be retrained, not everyone bother to go trough it.
True, but for the ones interested it could be made a choice.
"Poverty" in first world countries is just pure laziness.
Exceptions at the bottom. My friend who just migrated from South Africa does find the concept of poverty in the UK strange though for sure. (Completely different definition of poverty in comparison to SA.)
If you do not want to work in heavy industry and it's support infrastructure, move somewhere else. -> True however some people who worked in this industry may not have the money to seek out employment in other areas as they are more costly than where they come from. However, I am not very well educated on unemployment benefits which the government give if you got made redundant.

Fintech is a highly competitive field of applied mathematics, not really for everyone. Same with biotech if you do not want to work on cow insemination systems, you need a Ph.D, again not for everyone.
Very true for an area like Swansea with a brain drain you would struggle to employ the labour for it.
If you live in the UK and you are not disabled your poverty is on you.
Generally agree social mobility is actually really good from personal experience as long as you work hard. (My parents worked in a takeaway) There are other exceptions such as if the child got abused/parents made them take drugs and other similar bad childhoods.
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the bear
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(Original post by Themysticalegg)
After watching documentaries by Vice on the 'Teenage Heroin Epidemic' and 'Life after steel' in Swansea and Port Talbot (Not posting the link due to the 18+ nature of the first one) due to interest in the area as a student in Wales. It has got me thinking on ideas to help reduce poverty and increase opportunities in the UK. Another issue is the movement of skilled labour from less prosperous areas to wealthier ones.

Yes I am naive and money does unfortunately not grow on trees but I believe the below could help to alleviate poverty in less well off regions of the UK. Many of mine are related to Wales but please talk about areas you are interested in! What ideas do you have and what do you think?

This is the first actual debate post I've made, hope I haven't done anything wrong!

1. Improve transport links in terms of train frequency, speed and stations connected. E.g. Railway lines are not electrified past Cardiff going west so there is potentially less social mobility for people in Western regions as they are not able to commute as far in distance due to slower/less frequent trains and therefore have access to less jobs.
2. Schemes to retrain the unemployed into jobs in demand.
3. Students in Wales pay £3000 for tuition, however some leave for more prosperous areas in SE and London for employment. Leading to a brain drain, more investment should be placed in emerging job sectors such as Fintech and Biotechnology to keep skilled labour in the regions.
4. Diversify the mix of employment opportunities in an area. In Swansea closing the coal mines effective shafted a large % of the population into unemployment, without a replacement. History nearly repeated itself in Port Talbot with the threatening of the closure of the Tata Steel plant.
leaving the EU is tragedy for Wales look you:

Name:  tsrwalesuedosh.png
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from http://www.assembly.wales/en/newhome...px?itemid=1835
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Themysticalegg
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(Original post by the bear)
leaving the EU is tragedy for Wales look you:

Name:  tsrwalesuedosh.png
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from http://www.assembly.wales/en/newhome...px?itemid=1835
Biggest act of self-destruction I have ever witnessed.
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Themysticalegg
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
capitalism when on a national or even global scale is a death sentence for small towns. Look at the UK, and you can see the options towns have:

A, become a commuter town and feed off a larger city
B, become a retirement town and cater to an older, wealthier base who will spend money locally and don't need to rely on work for their income
C, become a tourist town and thrive for half the year

Or fail and watch your young struggle or leave, watch business that don't have to be with you desert you.. your shops close, your wealth creep away etc. etc.

Its inevitable. In the past it was stopped by a natural form of protectionism - transport and communication. You simply couldn't get out of your area easily, without a difficult journey, so communities were much more self-reliant, and had stronger internal economies, as well as their external links. Communication was also a natural form of protectionism.. people didn't want to be away from their families who they relied on, and without technology, moving away was a big deal. So you lived effectively in a capitalist system with lots of small scale protectionist restrictions that kept small towns going.

These days all of the natural protectionism has broken down. and as a result under un-controlled national capitalism, things will gravitate together. Money will gravitate towards money, work will be generated near more work, and people will group around resources.

The only ways of stopping it are to either:

A, re-instate artifical protectionism, that mirrors the natural limmitations of the past
B, introduce greater policies that forcably re-distrubte wealth from the rich areas to the poor.

A is vastly impractical, and could never work in our technological age. Imagine trying to tell kids that they weren't allowed to live in their town and commute elsewhere.. or that their local shop couldn't import its products and must rely on local producers and crafts people. Goodbye to your modern lifestyle.

B is the only option that we really have. Its not as dirrect as taking money from london and giving it to a seaside town in the north.. but it can come in the form of greater council funding, and subsidies for business and infrastructure projects in those areas.

B isn't fair in a pure sense, but if we don't, the towns will disappear and we will slowly group more and more into cities and the surrounding commuter belts.

I am not a huge fan of some of the transport proposals. Some ammount to nothing more than increasing the commuter belts. I don't think that's a good solution, it burdens workers with greater and greater commutes, and doesn't solve the fact that the wealth and resources are still massed in the cities. It also doesn't help to create local pride and communities, when the majority of people spend all their week elsewhere.

Greater large-scale transport links are brilliant, those can make running a business in more distant area far more possible, allowing people to work and create jobs within the area itself, but just extending commuter belts is a stop-gap, not a full solution.
Agreed, B isn't particularly fair. However these towns are eroding and could lead to severe social unrest if the situation gets worse. For example call centres are slowly being automated and moved abroad (although some have returned) and the steel industry is tanking due to the competitiveness of foreign steel exports. In that sense more protectionist policies should be implemented to keep steel being generated in Wales for now.

B in Wales' case require more funding to be allocated to the Welsh Government by the UK Government and they don't really care. Even if more funding came through it would then have to be allocated by Cardiff who again probably don't care too much and focus on Cardiff. In other areas there have been attempts at City deal forms of investment around the country with varying degrees of success unfortunately.

I also agree with not being a fan of transport proposals as some improvements are quite costly. For example with the Newcastle City Deal £61m was spent on a A1 Bypass to relieve congestion. Whether this was worth £61m I am not so sure. My hope with transport proposals is they helped to encourage investment into areas surrounding wealthy areas making the land more attractive due to better transport networks. However, yes generally it doesn't solve wealth being wedged into one area such as the SE and London.

Yes I am an advocate of larger scale long distance transport links allowing further commutes and more access to jobs and business creations. However, HS2 kind of annoys me just through the sheer cost of it burdened by project delays and cost overruns. (Although this is natural for large scale infrastructure projects.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by Themysticalegg)
I do 100% agree with you that it is simply reverting to its pre-industrial state and it makes sense for everyone to run off to areas of opportunity however it leaves the place they originate from in tatters as more and more skilled labour run away. However, I believe more investment should be made to encourage investment into South Wales to help drive opportunities. For example, the poverty rate is 25% in Wales far higher than the UK average. At the moment there is nothing to attract companies into South West Wales apart from cheap labour. (Call Centre economy) With completely woeful transport links. (one train per hour to London Paddington) Even though I am moving to the South East and am a hypocrite I feel so bad for the area I've lived in for 3 years. One day, I want to come back if I ever have the power to create some form of change, however that's quite a naive thought. Even to make a business that employs 5 people. Many in power forget South West Wales exists.
Agreed with all you say. But being devils advocate, I wonder if it would be cheaper to give poorer people money to move to areas of opportunity?

There is great clamour over monies to regenerate but it is very costly and the effects are mixed at best. This is certainly true where in the US, multinational companies are given $billions to build factories and create jobs. Had that money simply being given to each and every person in that area, it would amount to $100s of thousands for every resident.

So if you spend say £100 million on an area and generate 5000 jobs, one has to wonder if that is money well spent.
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AperfectBalance
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Forcing the scottish to pay for prescriptions and uni would be a start.
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Themysticalegg
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Agreed with all you say. But being devils advocate, I wonder if it would be cheaper to give poorer people money to move to areas of opportunity?

There is great clamour over monies to regenerate but it is very costly and the effects are mixed at best. This is certainly true where in the US, multinational companies are given $billions to build factories and create jobs. Had that money simply being given to each and every person in that area, it would amount to $100s of thousands for every resident.

So if you spend say £100 million on an area and generate 5000 jobs, one has to wonder if that is money well spent.
Interesting so there could be a new jobseekers allowance literally for relocation into wealthier areas with employment opportunities. It probably is cheaper than great big projects that have really poor bang for buck however it would encourage the desertion of masses of land for movement of people into wealthy employment areas. Disastrous megaprojects in the UK include the SA1 masterplan in Swansea which aimed to be a catalyst for regeneration which was highly ambitious but most of it remains unoccupied with parts of the plan being removed during construction such as the leisure quarter. (Probably gonna end up being a waste of money) There was also the bendy bus plan with £14m spent destroying city centre roads (and a total of £100m on the whole project for the introduction of bendy buses into Swansea City Centre) to accommodate them only for someone to get hit by a bendy bus and the entire scheme scrapped as the layout of the road was a factor in the death. (Complete waste of money) Now as we speak they're changing the road layout again and I don't even want to know how much that costs. :lol: All that money could of been spent moving people into employment or creating more useful ideas.

Yep £100m for 5000 jobs does seriously ask the question of it's money well spent. With as you said mixed results.
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Themysticalegg
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(Original post by AperfectBalance)
Forcing the scottish to pay for prescriptions and uni would be a start.
Wales has reduced tuition fees, free prescriptions, dental checks. In terms of benefits I'm pretty sure England gets screwed. The reverse argument for prescriptions is they save money by keeping people out of hospital.
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