I think the problem is one of satisfaction. These young people have been told that no one loses, everyone is a winner. They get everything they want, video games, cell phone, big TV, top of the line shoes/clothes, etc. The education system will pass them if they will just show up and do something, anything. They have not been conditioned to work and fail. They have been conditioned to do minimal work and it's acceptable. There is no one single entity at fault here. The kids have been conditioned for failure and now they are crying because life is unfair. It's a tough lesson, should have been learned wayyyy earlier in life. Not everyone deserves a big LCD TV with all the bells and whistles. Not everyone deserves luxuries. Heck, not everyone even deserves a lambo. Not everyone deserves the job that they think they want.
My 19 yo kid has been doing job interviews for two weeks now. She has turned down a few jobs. She just did a group interview yesterday. She was interviewed with 8 other applicants. She said a few had exposed tats and on girl had a face full of piercings. Most of them answered questions in one word answers with slurred speech. Several would not stand up straight and look the interviewer in the eye. The job is in retail sales. I tell her that if you can't sell yourself then you don't qualify to be a salesman.
Oh yeah, that night listening to GaryV did rub off on her. She was quoting his stuff back to me last night after the interview. Love it! Still not sure if she got the job though.
PS: I do like the way you phrased the questions at the end of your post.
Opportunity: practical life training, job training. Challenge: who pays for it?