We were all young once

by Janet Lawless
14 Feb 2012

The plight of young people is big news. As David Miliband MP re-emerges from his political hibernation on the back of his involvement in the ACEVO commission on youth unemployment we are fed a steady supply of facts and figures highlighting the ever growing number of young people not in education or employment (NEETs).

The numbers are truly staggering –

  • Nearly 1½ million young people are currently not in education, employment or training – over 1 in 5 of all young people.

  • A quarter of a million have been unemployed for over a year.

  • A further 200,000 have been unemployed for six months

The costs of these levels of long-term youth unemployment – now and in the future – are enormous not only to the individual and their family but to our communities and nation as a whole.

Ironically in spite of such news, here at Framework, we have recently received confirmation that a decision made last year to decommission our only remaining young person’s service in Nottingham City will not be changed and the service will close its doors at the end of March.

This is a service which is full with a waiting list, a service which is fully supported by all associated statutory partners, a service which meets and exceeds its performance targets and a service which is popular with those who access it.

So why then is it being closed – MONEY – or rather the lack of it. The council know that this is a service which is needed but have to make savings somewhere. So some of our most vulnerable young people will go without the option of accessing a service targeted to:

  • stabilise lives

  • build skills for independence

  • build routes to employment

  • support re-entry into education / training

  • re-build family connections

This disinvestment in young people smacks of short-termism. Early intervention and prevention are over used phases and actions, particularly of late, do not demonstrate a commitment to either.

Young people are all too often castigated for their behaviour but it is not young people making the decisions which for many only widen the divide between young people and adults and the ‘haves and have not’s’, as adults we have much to reflect on.

What do you think about Nottingham City Council’s decision?

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