speech written on 16-07-2023

Teenagers to earn a living wage

Ladies and gentlemen, Today, I stand before you to address a significant issue plaguing our society - the struggle of teenagers to earn a living wage. As we witness the growing economic disparities and youth unemployment rates, it is high time we advocate for change and take action to ensure that our young generation can thrive in the workforce. Teenagers, as they transition into adulthood, face numerous challenges, and financial independence is one of them. However, many are trapped in a cycle where they are expected to work while simultaneously being denied fair compensation. This reality not only restricts their ability to support themselves but hampers their overall growth and development. We cannot let this injustice continue. Firstly, let us acknowledge the immense potential of teenagers. They possess incredible energy, enthusiasm, and a fresh perspective, making them valuable assets to the workforce. They often bring new ideas, innovative thinking, and a willingness to learn which are essential for any organization's success. Yet, the prevalent practice of underpaying them due to their age undermines their value and stifles their motivation to excel. Moreover, the current minimum wage laws fail to reflect the true cost of living, making it nearly impossible for teenagers to earn enough to cover even basic expenses. As a result, they struggle to pursue education, save for the future, or contribute to their families. They become stuck in a cycle of dependency instead of embracing financial autonomy, which impacts their overall well-being and hinders their transition into adulthood. By advocating for a living wage for teenagers, we strive to provide them with an opportunity to develop crucial life skills, learn financial responsibility, and gain independence. Earning a living wage would equip them with the necessary foundation to support themselves, pursue education, and contribute to society, all while eradicating a detrimental cycle of poverty and low expectations. Furthermore, let us not overlook the immense benefits this change would bring to our economy. When teenagers earn a living wage, they can actively participate in consumerism, boosting local businesses and stimulating economic growth. They become responsible contributors to their communities, fostering a positive ripple effect that uplifts society at large. Of course, some might argue that businesses cannot afford to pay teenagers a living wage due to financial constraints. However, it is crucial to remember that our young generation represents the future workforce. Investing in them now will yield exponential returns in terms of productivity, innovation, and economic stability in the long run. It is an investment we cannot afford to overlook. Therefore, I urge policymakers, employers, and citizens alike to join forces and support the vital cause of providing teenagers with a living wage. Let us work towards legislative changes, corporate policies, and public awareness campaigns that ensure fair compensation for our youth. It is time to restore hope, dignity, and a sense of empowerment in their lives, enabling them to become prosperous contributors to our society. In conclusion, the struggle of teenagers to earn a living wage is a pressing issue that demands our attention and action. By recognizing their value, addressing economic disparities, and embracing financial autonomy, we aspire to nurture a generation of young individuals capable of shaping a brighter future for themselves and our entire community. Together, let us enact change and empower our teenagers to build prosperous lives. Thank you.

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