The upsides of this sort of work have diminished over time. Huws says the golden age for the gig economy was some time around 2013, when companies took a smaller cut and there were fewer drivers/riders/factotums to compete with. "As Deliveroo pass on all risk to the rider, there's nothing to stop them over-recruiting in an area and flooding the city with riders, which is exactly what we saw last winter," says Guy McClenahan, another Brighton rider (Deliveroo maintain that the hundreds of riders in the area earn on average well above the national living wage). Over time, Uber has increased the commission it takes from drivers while reducing fares. Drivers are finding themselves working much longer hours in order to make the same pay -- or far less...

It is true that the unemployment rate among 16- to 24-year-olds in the UK is 12%, while in parts of Europe it is 40%. But that doesn't mean much if many of those people are in precarious "self-employment" -- the McKinsey Global Institute estimates this may be up to 30% of working-age adults across Europe. Huws says the notion of a career is being eroded, with young people often working a patchwork of different occupations. We laugh about George Osborne having six jobs; if he was a millennial, this would be par for the course.

... Dewhurst points out that the wider casualisation of work is a problem. She reckons about 50% of the union's members are millennials, although she stresses that the increase in political engagement among the young hasn't automatically resulted in mass union membership. She says millennials are used to outsourced work, and are adaptable and resilient. More than that, argues Huws, they have grown up in a climate of unpaid internships and terrifying probation periods, the first generation "expected to work for free". For many, all they know is being part of the precariat. Or, as Huws puts it in no uncertain terms, "today's model of the working poor".

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