Well, I remember getting a licence from the old Radiocommunications Agency for CB back in the late 1990's as a teenager. £15 or so I think.
Pointless, as was the UKFM radio.
The waves were dead, with the exception of some distant men who just used to swear about various ills and ailments.
(I think the Foundation ham licence was just being considered back then, and there was a war within the RSGB about the 12 wpm CW exam being dropped for full tickets.....).
Anyhow, lets just say that my radio went into the bin very quickly. (Keep in mind that these were the days before good internet coms, and mobile phones were not in big fashion either, so my life went "off-air" at this point).
Fast forward to today, and after watching Fred in the Shed's videos and seeing that AM and SSB were now legal, plus the RA had given way to OfCom, who are not fussed about crunching down on 11 metres, (see some proof: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/illegal_use_of_linear_amplifiers), I decided to give this hobby another go.
The d*ckheads are apparently still left behind on UKFM (let them stay there and die there).
The rest of us are now free to learn about antennas and power and make DX contacts. This has become a genuine tech hobby with room to explore and experiment - which is now attracting hams over onto the freedom of 11 metres.
My summary, as a young bloke who came, went, then came back:
Licensed days: utter crap, with £15 bits of paper that fixed / solved / achieved nothing.
Unlicensed days: The world is within reach, fun, great people, groups like this self-regulating (I imagine how the RSGB started) and no stuffy government departments with their rules, charges and closet 'ideas' (like the UKFM channel designation, cutting us off for best part of 40 years).
You don't need to be a mechanic to get a driving licence. You learn as you grow into it.
Same as radio. It just needs us - the better breed of 11 metre users